Hartland’s Larson, Mercy’s Bartels are Mr. and Miss Hockey
Guest speaker and Hall of Fame coach Andy Weidenbach poses with Miss Hockey Libby Bartels and Mr. Hockey Joey Larson at the 2019 Hockey Weekly All-State Awards Luncheon. (Hockey Weekly photo by Rena Laverty)
Michigan High School hockey took the spotlight at Sunday’s Hockey Weekly High School All-State Luncheon at Farmington Hills Manor.
Players were honored for their exploits in the classroom and on the ice, while coaches - present and past – were also hailed.
Of course, the biggest awards were not announced until the end of the program. That was the identities of 2019’s Mr. and Miss Hockey.
This year those honors go to Joey Larson of Hartland High School and Libby Bartels of Mercy High School.
“It’s Amazing,” Larson said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.” He also helped lead the Eagles to their second consecutive Division 2 state championship.
Bartels also led Mercy to the Girls state crown.
“It’s really exciting,” she said. “The team really came together.”
Andy Weidenbach, who retired at season’s end after 26 years as the coach at Cranbrook and has been a force in the growth of High School hockey in Michigan and nationally, gave the keynote speech.
His main theme was finding your own success … and it is not necessarily winning a championship. He used his 2014 and 2015 teams as examples. The 2014 team was a powerhouse and heavily favored to win the state title but did not because the Cranes lost in the state playoffs, despite soundly outplaying its opponent. Not nearly as much was expected of Cranbrook the following season, but it ultimately won the Division 3 state championship.
“Winning is definitely a lot more fun than losing, but it does not define success,” Weidenbach said.
Jenison High School senior Hunter Shrauger won the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association Perseverance Award for continuing to play High School hockey, despite enduring seizures, being burned in a go kart accident and having a total colectomy, all since the age of 14
The 2019 Henrik Zetterberg High School Hockey Scholarship winners share military intentions.
Ann Arbor Pioneer senior Ava Millman hopes to ultimately serve in the U.S. Navy, while Milford High School senior Connor Meadows wants to be a Navy or Air Force pilot and an officer among his many goals.
Meanwhile, Lillian Harrington of Regina High School and Sam Schwierking of Grand Rapids Catholic Central were the Jim Devellano Michigan High School Scholarship winners.
Each of the four will receive a $2500 scholarship towards their further education.
Caledonia High School senior Ethan Green won the Ryan Fischer Legacy Scholarship, which honors the life of Ryan Fischer, who was Grandville High School’s senior co-captain, when he died suddenly in 2014.
Also honored were the Most Valuable Goalies – Savina Osann of Plymouth-Canton-Salem for the Girls and Cooper Black of Alpena for the Boys -, members of the Dream Team, All-State Teams, All-Tournament Teams and MVP’s and Academic Award winners.
The Coach of the Year awards for the Girls and for each of the three divisions of Boys High School Hockey were announced.
Dave Roegner of Mercy and Paul Buschemi of Regina-Lutheran High North were the co-Girls Coaches of the Year, while J.J. Bamberger of Saginaw Heritage won for Division 1, Woodhaven’s Bryan Sullivan won it in Division 2 and Chris Limback of Alpena was the Division 3 Coach of the Year.
The Assistant Coaches of the Year were Brighton’s Kurt Kivisto in Division 1, Brian Sipotz of Saline in Division 2 and Mark Beaufait of Forest Hills Central in Division 3.
Also, former Brother Rice coach Lou Schmidt and current Traverse City Central coach Chris Givens were welcomed into the MHSHCA Hall of Fame.