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Forest Hills Eastern and Forest Hills Central bring home state championships

Four Grand Rapids area high school teams were battling for a chance to win a state championship at Michigan State.
Credit: 13 ON YOUR SIDE
Forest Hills Eastern hoists trophy after winning state championships.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Saturday marks the end of the high school sports season in the state of Michigan, and four Grand Rapids area high school teams were battling for a chance to win a state championship at Michigan State.

In Division 2, two Grands Rapids area schools squared up in the baseball state championship game: Grands Rapids Christian and Forest Hills Eastern.

The game was all Hawks. Starting pitcher Evan Parks threw a complete game shutout, striking out nine while giving up just one hit. Parks also drove in a run. Leo Hern recorded a RBI as well.

Parks was impressive on the bump. He had a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the Butler Bulldog signee couldn’t believe he helped lead Forest Hills Eastern baseball to its first state title in their first appearance in the big game.

“When you see the ball down, you know your defense is playing for you,” Parks said. “It makes all of the world when you finally see that play finish and you’re just done. Oh my God. It makes all of the world.”

Grand Rapids Christian baseball is still looking for its first state title since the Eagles went back-to-back in 2012 and 2013.

Meanwhile, two local high school teams looked to win state titles in girls soccer.

Sticking in Division 2, Forest Hills Central was back in the state title game for the first time since 2017. The Rangers had a tall task at hand as they matched up with Bloomfield Hills Marian, who have won four straight state titles.

The Rangers struck first and fast. Five minutes in, Dailey Tucker found Threyn Hallock in front of the net for the header. The goal was the first header of the future Michigan State basketball player’s career, and it gave the Rangers the 1-0 lead.

Marian would tie the game, and 75 seconds later, Stella Sutton redirects a corner kick off of her shoulder and in the net. That would be all Forest Hills Central would need as they top Marian 2-1 to win the state championship.

In Division 3, Hudsonville Unity Christian had been on a roll heading into the state championship against Williamston. The Crusaders had not lost since the season opener.

The Crusaders would take a 2-1 lead over Williamston with a goal for Ava Lutke with less than 22 minutes in regulation.

However, the Hornets would sting Hudsonville Unity Christian twice. Liz Bellinger scored on a free kick with 11 minutes remaining to tie the game at 2-2. That was followed by a Breyer Fenech goal with 80 seconds in regulation.

It was heartbreak for Hudsonville Unity Christian. After winning 10 state titles in a twelve-year stretch starting in 2005, the Crusaders are still looking to bring home another state crown to their coveted trophy case for the first time since 2016.

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