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Posted on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 5:45 a.m.

Swimmers bring state title haul to Washtenaw County and more notes from the winter season

By Staff


Saline's James Fisher, right, congratulates teammate Adam Whitener after a race at the Division 1 boys swimming and diving state championships.

Thirteen Washtenaw County individuals and two high school teams brought home state championships during the winter prep sports season.

As usual, the area’s biggest haul was from in the pool.

Except for Huron High School freshman Allison Morris, who won a Division 1 bowling individual state championship, all of the state title in the area were for swimming and diving. And there were plenty of them.

While winning its third straight Division 1 team state championship, the Saline boys swimming and diving team had quite an individual collection as well. The Hornets won seven different events, one less than last year.

Saline’s David Boland took home four championship medals, winning the 100-yard butterfly and 200 individual medley and swimming legs on Saline's first-place 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams. The junior now has 10 event titles to his name as well as three team state championships. Swimmers are only allowed to compete in four events per race, meaning Boland is just two events shy of a perfect record in his high school school career.

His junior teammates Adam Whitener and Josh Ehrman won three event titles at the meet, bringing their state title counts to six and four, respectively.

In addition to the Saline swimmers, Pioneer senior Seiji Osawa won a Division 1 state title in the 500 freestyle.

Unlike Saline, Dexter didn't bring home a stack of individual titles when it won the area’s other team state championship in Division 2. The Dreadnaughts' only event title was won by Mark Brown, John Eber, Nate Kilian and Brennan Maisch in the 200 freestyle relay.

What the Dreadnaughts lacked in top finishes, they made up for in depth. The scored points in 11 of 12 events, with three or more placing among the top 16 in five different events.

At the 2011 championships, Dexter won four event titles but placed third in the team standings. This year’s was the first state title for the team since winning a Class B-C-D title under Todd Brunty, who is now the coach for Saline.

Huron boys basketball team doubles as fan club

When the Huron High School girls basketball team took the floor of the Breslin Center for an MHSAA Class A basketball semifinal, there was a little extra support in the cheering section behind their bench.

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Huron boys basketball coach Waleed Samaha was a water boy for the girls basketball team during the state quarterfinals and joined his team in cheering for the girls during the state semifinals.

Members of the boys varsity team, along with coach Waleed Samaha, made the trip to East Lansing to show their support.

“The relationship between the two programs is outstanding. We have a great deal of respect for their program,” said Samaha, adding that many of the members of both teams are friends outside of school.

Andre Bond and Mike Lewis even participated in some skills competitions after the first and third quarters of the game.

The players helped lead cheers and excite the rest of the Huron faithful during the girls comeback attempt, which fell short in a 44-41 loss to Grosse Pointe South.

“The run that they had was great, it was a great experience for the whole school,” said Samaha. “That was a special experience for everyone involved.”

For the returning members of the boys team, Samaha said the experience helped motivate them to work harder to make a run to the finals next year.

Chelsea seniors leave a legacy

After reaching its second state semifinal in three years, the 11 seniors on the Chelsea High School hockey team will leave as the most successful class in program history. With four SEC championships, three regional final appearances and two state semifinal berths, the graduating class has a lot to be proud of.


Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett goalie Joseph Davenport, right, gets ready to block a shot by Chelsea's Joe Hewitt.

Angela J. Cesere |

“They’ve been fun to watch and as they look back on their time here, they played in a lot of big games and had a lot of success,” said coach Don Wright.

The Bulldogs lost 5-1 in this year’s Division 3 semifinals to eventual champion Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett. In 2010, Chelsea came up short in a 4-0 loss to Flint Powers. The team’s regular season record of 21-5-2 is the best in the 12 years of hockey at Chelsea.

“The guys that came before helped set the stage for this group. When this group came in we were on the verge of getting where we’ve gotten,” he said. “Now the younger guys they’ve now learned from the guys before them.”

-- Compiled by Matt Durr, Michael Florek and Pete Cunningham.