Ashe aims to keep winning ways as Mercy's new softball coach

Jerry Ashe has been associated with the Mercy High School softball program in some coaching capacity for the past 22 years, but never as a head coach.

That changes this year.

Ashe, who was officially given the job in January, takes over the program from Alec Lesko, who coached the Marlins to their only state championship in 2016. This marks Ashe's first job as a high school varsity head coach.

"It's a totally different animal," said Ashe, a 1971 Detroit Catholic Central graduate. "It's a challenge, especially taking over for Alec, because he's so knowledgeable and that kind of thing, but I'm welcoming the challenge.

Flying high: 'Poppins' soars onto Mercy stage

There are nearly 60 students in the cast of the Mercy High School production of "Mary Poppins" that hits the stage Friday night.

But it's the performance of two crew members who never set foot on stage that could determine the success of the play. That's because, for the first time since 2004's production of "Peter Pan," Mercy actors will be flying through the skies.

And after training with experts from Las Vegas-based Flying by Foy, it'll be the responsibility of junior Melissa Kurpiers and senior Abbey Hembree to make sure those who fly land safely.

To this point in their careers, the two have only flown "drops," inanimate objects that help set the scenes. Now, those are people they'll be flying.

Mercy hangs on for 51-48 district win over Groves

FARMINGTON HILLS - In one of the dreaded playoff-opening matchups pitting two accomplished teams against each other too early in the tournament Monday, Farmington Hills Mercy knocked off Birmingham Groves, 51-48.

Repeatedly sent to the line for free throws in the final minute, Mercy made just 4-of-10 shots, but it ultimately proved to be just enough to prevail.

Down two points with 11 seconds remaining, Groves’ leading scorer, senior Sha Carter, brought the ball up the court and launched a deep 3-pointer from the top of the arc, narrowly missing before Mercy corralled the rebound.

Mercy basketball team playing like a contender yet again

FARMINGTON HILLS — The Farmington Hills Mercy basketball team is one with an abundance of talent, a good mix of experience and youth, and potential to make yet another run come playoff time.

As coach Gary Morris assessed the first quarter of the 2017-18 season, there wasn’t too much that he had to complain about.

“We’re happy — you have to be,” Morris said about his team. “We’ve gotten off to a good start, and that’s what you love to see.”

Good to the tune of a 5-0 record at press time.

“We’ve been in some close games, too,” Morris added. “But we’re finding ways to win, which is key.”

The Marlins went 22-4 last year, reaching the state quarterfinals before eventually falling to Warren Cousino.

Mercy claims swim title as Harrison-Farmington places third at finals

FARMINGTON HILLS — There is an expectation, fairly or unfairly, that needs to be upheld.

In 2017, the Farmington Hills Mercy swim team certainly lived up to it.

The Division 1 state swimming and diving state finals were held Nov. 17-18 at Oakland University, and once again, the Marlins asserted themselves as the top team in the state.

“It’s very cool,” second-year coach Mike Venos said. “This was the culmination of a very interesting season for us. But you have to take a lot of pride in this.”

With a total of 37 teams scoring in the two-day final, the Marlins finished with a score of 277.

Saline High was next-best with 248, and Harrison-Farmington came in third with 192.

10 highlights from Michigan swimming and diving championships

Depth wins out for Farmington Hills Mercy

Farmington Hills Mercy didn’t win a single event at the Division 1 meet, but won its first state title since 2013 and eighth overall thanks to its depth. The Marlins had two runner-up finishes and had swimmers finish in the top-10 in 10 of the 12 events.

A girls title for Venos

Mike Venos, the longtime boys coach at Brother Rice who has led the Warriors to the last four state titles in Division 1 and six overall, won his first state title with a girls team.

He is in his second year as Mercy's coach.

“Boys can be kind of boring,” Venos said. “They just want to get in and train. With the girls, it’s the whole social aspect."

Mercy weathers the storm to get past Anchor Bay in quarterfinals

Farmington Hills Mercy concludes its pregame ritual just before the start of a Class A quarterfinal against New Baltmore Anchor Bay on Tuesday.

WEST BLOOMFIELD >> With a four-game victory Tuesday, Farmington Hills Mercy advanced to the Class A semifinals in Battle Creek for the first time since 2010, getting over the hump with a quarterfinals win against New Baltimore Anchor Bay, 25-17, 21-25, 26-24, 25-19.

RELATED: Photo gallery from Mercy vs. Anchor Bay

The Marlins narrowly captured the pivotal third-set after the teams had split the first two. Down 23-22, Mercy sophomore Jess Mruzik recorded three emphatic kills in a row to regain the lead and set up Lauren Hunter for the final point.