Michigan High School
 Varsity Sports

The purpose of this site is to document the long, storied history of high school sports in Michigan. The Record Book for a sport is added to this site as information becomes available. Submission of records are accepted and encouraged. However, please include reasonable documentation. Thanks!

Michigan Varsity Sports



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About the Historians - Biographical Information  
Dick Kishpaugh and The Record Books  

Former Detroit Free Press and Detroit News sportswriter Joe Fall said it best.  "Before (Dick Kishpaugh) came onto the scene, nobody knew much about the history of high school athletics in Michigan."  Dick KishpaughHistorian Emeritus was a title eventually bestowed upon Kishpaugh by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, and it was one well-earned.


A graduate of Battle Creek Central and Western Michigan University, Kishpaugh began the task of gathering information on the Boys Basketball tournament back in 1944. Assembling game scored and names of coaches for each of the cage finals, he presented his work to Charles Forsythe, state director of the MHSAA.  Soon after, he expanded his pioneering work to include seasonal statistics on Michigan prep football.  The Associated Press delivered his information to an eager audience across the state.  As time went on, he gathered his findings, and prepared the first state record books.  These typed documents captured game, season and career accomplishments, and the content often appeared in print.  The increased focus on girls' athletics in the early 1970's was embraced by Kishpaugh, and the first girls basketball state record book soon followed.  While his work was seldom credited, sportswriters across the state always knew where to turn if they needed information on the history of prep sports.


Kishpaugh's historical articles on the athletics appeared in numerous publications including including the Kalamazoo Gazette, the Battle Creek Enquirer and MHSAA game-day programs.  His interest in college football led to a position as historian for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and he became a regular contributor to the NCAA News.  His articles on the game's history have also appeared in football programs for the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame.  His writing for Touchdown Illustrated of New York appeared in numerous game-day programs sold at football stadiums across the nation.


After fifty years as state historian, Kishpaugh retired from the position to concentrate on college athletics and his other hobbies. Fascinated by the sinking of the Titanic and the Civil War, he spoke in behalf of Rotary on his favorite subjects at Rotary clubs across the country, and taught at Elderhostels on varied sports subjects. Kishpaugh was killed in a car accident in April 2000.

Jay Soderberg - Sports Historian, Northern Michigan  
A record keeper focusing on Northern Michigan, Soderberg specialized in football and basketball stats. A jack-of-all-trades, Jay referred to himself as a sports historian, statistician, sports reporter and photographer on his business card. He covered state tournaments for a number of publications as a freelancer. A teacher based out of Gaylord, Soderberg contributed numerous items to the state record books, including the initial list of football rushing marks. He passed away in February 1996 at the age of 58 after a battle with cancer.  
Ron Pesch - MHSAA Historian  
After fifty years, Kishpaugh passed on the title of historian for the Michigan High School Athletic Association to Ron Pesch.  Since that time, the records books have been moved to the internet and the listings have been expanded to include numerous other sports.  Information is gathered from a variety of sources, including the coaching staffs of the member schools, documented submissions of accomplishments by fans of the game, as well as newspaper reports that highlight record-breaking performances.

Pesch is a graduate of Muskegon High School and Western Michigan University. He is co-author, with Marc Okkonen, of two books, 100 years of Muskegon Big Red Football, and Buster Keaton and the Muskegon Connection. He has written on high school sports history for the MHSAA, the Muskegon Chronicle, Michigan History magazine and MLive.  The father of two, he lives in Muskegon.
Jim Moyes - Track and Field Historian  

Jim Moyes has provided the Track and Field information supplied on this site. A renowned radio broadcaster in the West Michigan area, Moyes is a graduate of North Muskegon High School and the former proprietor of the Bear Lake Inn - a landmark in North Muskegon. A former writer for the Muskegon Chronicle, Moyes served as a longtime board member of the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame.  A devoted sports fan, he has a rich knowledge of prep sports, and spent countless hours researching the history of high school track in Michigan. Moyes is currently working on a book covering the history of the state track meet. The publication will include a complete list of winners of the various state meet events.  In addition, Moyes has prepared a history on the baseball teams from his alma mater - North Muskegon.