Twelve Catholic High School League teams brought home state titles in 2018-19
Jul 8, 2019
METRO DETROIT — The Catholic High School League celebrated a dozen state champions in the 2018-19 school year.
That’s the 10th year in a row the CHSL has won at least 12 titles. The peak years were 2009-10 and 2014-15 with 19 champs in each year.
In the CHSL’s 93-year history, 55 schools have played in 756 finals, winning 467 championships for a 61.8 percent success rate.
Six of this year’s champs were repeat winners. Catholic Central won two titles, in hockey and wrestling. At the other end of the spectrum, Royal Oak Shrine girls won their first soccer championship in their first appearance in the finals.
There was plenty of drama. Brother Rice won the lacrosse title with one second to play. Marian girls soccer went into overtime, and Regina girls softball played an extra inning to claim their championships.
Here’s a rundown of this year’s winners:
BASEBALL — Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Division 2: The Eaglets were 7-9 in their first 16 games of the season before going on a 27-0-2 run in the final 29 games, climaxed by the 8-1 victory over Grand Rapids Catholic Central for the state championship, their first since 2015 and the fourth in their history.
FOOTBALL — Warren De La Salle, Division 2: Defense was the critical element in the formula for the Pilots' 29-16 victory over Muskegon Mona Shores, whose high-powered offense averaged 48 points in five tournament contests. In sharp contrast, De La Salle had allowed an average of only seven points a game in the playoffs. The win was De La Salle’s second state title in a row, the third in the last five years.
HOCKEY — Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Division 1: Only three times in the last 22 seasons has Catholic Central gone more than one year without a championship. The 3-1 win over Saginaw Heritage was the 14th state title for the Shamrocks, tying them with Trenton for second most all-time. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood leads the way with 17 titles.
BOYS LACROSSE — Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice, Division 1: Senior Justin Glod scored the game-tying goal with 1:55 left in regulation, then followed up with the championship-winner with one second to play for a 14-13 win over Catholic Central. It was the Warriors’ (23-0) fourth perfect season in school history and their 14th Finals championship trophy in 15 seasons.
GIRLS SOCCER — Bloomfield Hills Marian, Division 2: Marian won three consecutive championships for the first time in school history (its eighth title since 2003) with a thrilling 2-1 overtime win over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern. All three of those titles have come via victories over Forest Hills Northern in the title game.
GIRLS SOCCER — Royal Oak Shrine, Division 4: The Knights’ girls soccer team had never been to a state championship before, much less past the first round of state high school post-season tournament. They scored a pair of goals in each half en route to a dominating 4-0 victory over Kalamazoo Christian, bringing home the school’s first team championship in any sport since 1974.
SOFTBALL — Warren Regina, Division 1: The Saddlelites loaded the bases in the eighth inning on an error and two walks. The Howell pitcher bobbled Adriana James’ come-back bouncer just enough to allow Jenna Holt to race across home plate with the winning run for a 3-2 victory. The championship was Regina’s first since 2015, and the seventh in seven finals appearances under longtime coach Diane Laffey. Laffey is the state’s winningest softball coach with a 1,212-485 record spanning 56 years.
GIRLS SWIMMING — Farmington Hills Mercy, Division 1: The Marlins didn’t finish in the top-3 in any event, but had plenty of depth across the pool to rally past Brighton, 211-209, on the last leg of the 400 freestyle relay to break a tie with the Bulldogs and capture their second consecutive state championship, the 10th in school history.
BOYS TENNIS — Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Division 3: For the fourth straight year, the Cranes captured the Division 3 title, doing so in dominating fashion by winning seven flights and earning 39 points, 11 more than runner-up Detroit Country Day.
BOYS TENNIS — Ann Arbor Greenhills, Division 4: Winning six of eight flights, Ann Arbor Greenhills took home the Division 4 team trophy, the Gryphons’ first championship in three years and ninth over the last 11.
GIRLS TENNIS — Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart, Division 4: Sacred Heart swept the four doubles matches to win its sixth consecutive Division 4 championship.
BOYS WRESTLING — Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Division 1: The Shamrocks defeated Brighton 34-19 for their sixth consecutive state championship to finish the decade with seven titles and one runner-up finish, a feat no Division 1 team has ever accomplished. Senior Kevon Davenport became the 26th wrestler, and the first from the Catholic League, to win four Individual Finals titles.