The purpose of the I AM SPORT Award is to celebrate high school student athletes who volunteer their time to benefit those in their community. Please vote for the student athlete below that you feel deserves to win the I AM SPORT Award. You may vote up to once per day until March 2nd at 9:00 am EST.
It was a battle of unbeaten rivals Tuesday night at Mercy High School when Mercy and Marian got together for the first time this season.
Mercy outscored the Mustangs, 16-6, in the final quarter to pull out a 46-34 victory. Mercy's win breaks a four-game losing streak against Marian, dating back to the 2017 season.
The Marlins improve to 7-0, while the Mustangs fall to 5-1.
Ahead of the game, Mercy coach Gary Morris had a simple message written on the board in the locker room: It's time.
"We feel like we've been playing really well and we're going to go after them and see what happens," Morris said. "It makes it more of a rivalry when we win a game, because if one side is winning all the time, it's not really a rivalry."
FARMINGTON HILLS >> Entering Tuesday’s showdown with Birmingham Marian, which featured a pair of unbeaten division rivals, Farmington Hills Mercy coach Gary Morris knew exactly the narrative his team was up against.
“It makes it more of a rivalry when we win a game. You know how that goes,” Morris said, citing his team’s 0-4 record versus Marian over the past two seasons. “If one side is winning all the time, it’s not really a rivalry.”
But following Tuesday’s result, it’s safe to say the two teams’ Catholic League Central Division tug-of-war has been renewed. Mercy shook free from Marian’s recent stranglehold on the series to record a 46-34 win, leading nearly from start to finish and saving its best for the fourth quarter.
Mercy High School in Farmington Hills will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and the 15,000-plus women who have passed through its doors.
"We interview our alums and they always talk about how empowering it was to come here," said Cheryl Kreger, the school's president. "So you think about every office, every club is headed by girls because there are no boys. That makes the experience unique."
Kreger, like all former presidents of the school, is an alumna and graduated in 1966. She remembers the all-female environment being something special.
FARMINGTON HILLS >> Opening night was more than alright for Farmington Hills Mercy Thursday, as the Marlins quickly shook off the rust to collect an impressive 64-26 victory over Waterford Kettering.
Displaying a balanced offense and its patented brand of pressure defense, Mercy climbed out to a 14-0 advantage early and never looked back.
“It was our first game and (Kettering) had played the other night, so I always think that’s a little bit of an advantage, but we had scouted them,” Marlins coach Gary Morris said. “We’re optimistic about this group. They’re working hard and I feel we’re going to be pretty deep and pretty athletic. I think we have some shooters, which always helps of course.”
BATTLE CREEK –– The Farmington Hills Mercy volleyball program has been so close to winning a state title over the years, but has come up short each time.
The Marlins have played in back-to-back Division 1 state semifinal matches and even played in a Class A state final back in 2010, falling to Bloomfield Hills Marian.
This season, however, offered another opportunity for Mercy to grab that elusive title. The Marlins raced through the playoffs, getting back to Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek for a third straight year.
They swept Ann Arbor Skyline in the semifinal, leaving Lowell High as the last team to beat. As it has all season, Mercy came ready to play Nov. 23, jumping out to a 2-0 lead.
The Farmington Hills Mercy swim and dive team captured the 2019 Division 1 state championship last weekend, fighting off Ann Arbor Pioneer by just half a point to secure the trophy.
It's the third consecutive year that Mercy has been crowned champions.
Pioneer and Mercy finished far ahead of the rest of the field, with Mercy performing especially well in diving.
Northville freshman Emily Roden was the state champion in the 100 fly.
Division 1 state championship results
1. Farmington Hills Mercy 298
It’s never safe to assume anything, but Mercy’s Jess Mruzik winning the 2019 Miss Volleyball Award was a pretty safe assumption.
Mruzik will finish her prep career at Mercy this week and wind up as one of the most accomplished volleyball players the state has ever seen.
On Monday, it was officially announced that Mruzik was the winner of the prestigious Miss Volleyball Award, recognizing the top player in the state over a four-year prep career.
Jess Mruzik has known since sixth grade she wanted to play volleyball at the University of Michigan, and on Monday she signed her national letter of intent.
An added bonus to the day: the Farmington Hills Mercy outside hitter was named Michigan’s 2019 Miss Volleyball.
Mruzik said she attended a volleyball camp at Michigan as a sixth grader, and she joined the program as a ball girl for the next three seasons.
Farmington Hills Mercy senior Jess Mruzik, named Michigan Miss Volleyball on Nov. 18, 2019. (Photo: Bre Johnson, Special to the Detroit Free Press)
As a high school freshman, when she earned a starting role on the Mercy team, she verbally committed to Michigan.