Vote Now: Bloomfield Hills Area Athlete of the Spring Season
Choose from a list of deserving candidates for Patch Athlete of the Season from the Bloomfield Hills area high schools.
High school athletes in Bloomfield Hills area had plenty of great performances this season. Now, we want to hear from our readers which one they thought was the best.
Be sure to vote by 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 27. Final results will be posted on June 29.
Here are the candidates:
Mollie Fox - Sophomore, Lahser High School, Tennis - Mollie Fox gave her team a big boost by winning a regional title in No. 1 singles to help her team qualify for the state tournament. Fox beat Farmington Hills Mercy’s Winnie Karoub in the finals. Fox was one of six Knights players to reach the finals match, but the only girl to win a title. In the finals, she made it to all the way to the semifinals where she lost to eventually state champion Abby Perkins from Mason in two hard fought sets 7-6 (4) and 6-3. She finished the season with only two losses in nearly 30 matches.
Alexandria Najarian - Sophomore, Cranbrook Kingswood, Tennis - Alexandria Najarian didn’t drop a single set at the state finals on her way to a second consecutive individual title in Division 3 No.1 singles. She beat Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Sydney Liggins 7-5 and 6-2 to win the title. It capped off a second-straight unbeaten season as well. She was one of five Cranes to win titles to give the school back-to-back team titles.
Neal Krentz – Senior, Lahser High School, Baseball – Neal Krentz had an all-around great year for the Lahser varsity baseball team. He batted well over .400 on the season with an on-base percentage close to .600. He led his team in RBIs and doubles. On the mound, Krentz had an ERA around 2.00 and was one of the team’s most consistent pitchers. He shined on the big stage when the Knights took on city-rival Andover at Comerica Park. The senior kept a no-hitter going into the fifth inning to help his team earn bragging rights with a 6-1 win. On the day, Krentz only surrendered four hits while striking out eight. He made the Division 2 All-State Second Team as voted on by the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Gabe Berman – Senior, Andover, Baseball - Gabe Berman was a masher in the middle of lineup for the Andover varsity baseball team. The No. 3 hitter, who is signed with Western Michigan University made the Division 2 Second Team as voted on by the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association and will play in the East-West All-Star Game at Comerica Park next week.
Matt Ruppenthal – Sophomore, Brother Rice, Baseball – Matt Ruppenthal is quickly becoming one of the most talked about pitchers in Oakland County. The sophomore standout, who is already committed to Vanderbilt, was dominant all season long. He earned All-District honors for allowing one run over 13 innings. He won two games, including the Warriors’ thrilling extra-inning win over West Bloomfield, and had a six RBI performance against Seaholm. He was All-Catholic League for the second straight season, with an ERA under 1.00, and he pitched a complete game in the Catholic League A-B title game at Comerica Park, which Brother Rice won over Detroit Jesuit. Ruppenthal also made the Division 1 First Team as voted on by the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Riley Kennedy – Senior, Brother Rice, Lacrosse – The Brother Rice lacrosse team wasn’t lacking for nominees, a case could be made for at least a half dozen players to make the list. But it’s hard to top what Riley Kennedy did in the Division 1 state title game. His electric performance helped the Warriors win 14-8 over Ann Arbor Pioneer, he scored five goals and two assists. At one point, he scored four straight goals in the first half to put his team in total control. He was recognized by ESPN.com as one of its high school lacrosse player’s of the week for the performance. The midfielder’s play earned him a Division I All State First Team honors, as chosen by the MHSLCA All State Committee.
Sean Friel – Senior, Brother Rice, Golf – Brother Rice captured its first golf team state title since 1998 and Sean Friel was a big reason why. The senior, who is signed with Michigan State, helped the Warriors reach the state finals with a team-best 70 in both the district and regionals. At the Meadows in the Division 1 finals, he put up a two-day score of 148, which was tied for fourth best individual score overall. He shot a 75 on the first day and a 73 on day two.
Elena Miller – Junior, Lahser, Track and Field – Elena Miller finished All-State in two events at the Division 2 finals. She finished in fifth place in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:06.02 and fourth place in the 3,200-meter run with a 10:53.70. Miller finished up a strong junior campaign that saw her win a title at the Oakland County Championships in the 3,200-meter and finish in the top five in both races for the Knights all season.