Dow’s VanSumeren named top player in the state

Senior High Billy VanSumeren from Dow High helped his hockey team make some history last month when the Chargers claimed a first ever state championship by a Saginaw Valley League team. Recently, he made a little more history of his own – and became the first player from Midland ever to be named “Mr. Hockey” by the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association.

“It’s an honor. It’s amazing. I could not have asked for a better cape for a high school senior season,” VanSumeren said Monday after a celebration with his teammates in the Dow cafeteria. “Of course, a lot of honor goes to my teammates . I could not have done anything I did without them. It’s a great achievement, not only for me, but for this whole team. “

Chargers coach Dick Blasy, who was named State Coach of the Year in Division 3 by the MHSHCA, agreed that a Dow player serving Mr. Hockey awards are a special – and somewhat unlikely – achievement.

“This is like Heisman of high school hockey. Having two players for it in Collin (Lemanski) and Billy, it just ended a dream year, a dream season,” Blasy said, adding that it is uncommon for teams and players from the middle of Michigan to win elite awards.

“… It’s always a fight, no matter what it is, whether it’s All-State or Mr. Hockey or trying to be ranked in the state. When you are in these parts (of the state), it’s hard, a little harder to get that respect, ”he remarked. “… I think we win the state championship is one of the necessary steps to achieve that respect.”

VanSumeren said Blasy informed him about a week ago that he had won the award.

“I was just speechless. I did not know what to say,” VanSumeren said with a smile. players in the state that I know and that I have played with and played against, so it was just incredible.

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