Mercy pulls upset to claim golf title

After being denied a championship celebration a year ago, Farmington Hills Mercy played the role of spoiler and had it this year in the Catholic League girls golf tournament.

The Marlins crushed pre-meet favorite Macomb Lutheran North's hopes for a victory by winning the team title Monday at Edgewood Country Club in Commerce Township.

"Last year, we were the favorite going in, and Ladywood snuck up and beat us," Mercy coach Vicky Kowalski said. "This year, Lutheran North was the favorite, and we snuck up and beat them.

"I was talking with Lutheran North coach Lori Gill, and she said, 'I guess it's not a good idea to be a favorite.' Our girls played really well today."

Marlins win 12th straight county meet

Like the leaves changing colors every autumn, another Michigan fall tradition is a Farmington Hills Mercy victory in the annual Oakland County girls swimming and diving meet.

The Marlins won their 12th consecutive championship Saturday at Lake Orion High School, outscoring Catholic League rival Bloomfield Hills Marian to win this year's title, 376-289.

They managed to perform very well despite being in mid-season form and not rested for the meet, according to first-year head coach Mike Venos.

"It was an important meet for the coaching staff because it was our first championship meet with these girls," he said. "We have been telling them all year they were capable of swimming fast when they were tired, and they were very, very tired.

Farmington Hills Mercy notches 12th straight Oakland County title WITH PHOTO GALLERY

LAKE ORION - Farmington Hills Mercy’s Allie Lobbia walked out of Lake Orion High Saturday with a trophy. Was it swiped? Of course not.

The Marlins earned this trophy after capturing their 12th straight Oakland County Swimming and Diving championship.

As for Lobbia, who walked out of the school with the trophy with nary a team member in sight, there was an explanation. “I’m one of the team captains,” smiled Lobbia, who by executive privilege of sorts, was allowed possession of the prize.

Ultimately, it will probably end up in the school trophy case where the Marlins continue to stockpile county championships.

No. 1 Marlins hope to finish where they start

Farmington Hills Mercy begins the 2016 season as the state's No. 1-ranked team in Division 1 girls high school swimming and diving. That's nothing new for either the Marlins or new coach Mike Venos, who also coaches the Birmingham Brother Rice boys team.

The Marlins have won eight state championships — the last six under former coach Shannon Dunworth. Venos has guided the Warriors to four state titles, including the last three in Division 1. Defending state champion Ann Arbor Skyline and runner-up Saline are ranked second and third behind Mercy, which finished third in last year's state meet.

Farmington Mercy will again be tough to beat

With new coach Mike Venos taking over for recently retired Shannon Dunworth, Farmington Hills Mercy’s girls swimming team will have a new look this season. But the Marlins will still be formidable. With 11 straight Oakland County titles and a third-place finish at last year’s D1 state meet, Mercy’s resume is intimidating. To be sure, it will take a mighty effort from area teams to topple the Marlins, but a host of teams will try.


Marlins might have best team yet

Long a power in the sport of girls volleyball, Farmington Hills Mercy might reach new heights in the 2016 campaign. Coach Loretta Vogel begins her eighth season at the school and her 40th overall with what could be one of her best teams. Potentially, the Class A Marlins, who are ranked No. 5 in the first statewide coaches poll, will have one of their best attacks, featuring an array of powerful hitters.

"In other years, we had a number of girls who, when they went off to club, played defensive positions and, when they came back to Mercy, they needed to be hitters," Vogel said. "This year, we have girls who played club and are definitely attacks.

Crowning moment: Grace Murphy is Miss Farmington 2016

The Farmington-Farmington Hills community has a new ambassador, and local youth have a new role model.

Grace Murphy was crowned Miss Farmington 2016 during Wednesday evening’s pageant at the Farmington Civic Theater.

“I’m overjoyed and so surprised – this is unreal,” said Grace, moments after she was named winner.

The 17-year-old, a Northville resident, was eligible to compete for the title due to her attending school in Farmington or Farmington Hills. She’ll be a senior this fall at Mercy High School.

Venos is new Mercy girls swim coach

Mercy High School has found a most capable and qualified individual to take charge of its enormously successful swimming and diving program.

Mike Venos, who has had parallel results in his 17 years with the Brother Rice boys, will coach the Mercy girls, too.

He replaces Shannon Dunworth, who resigned recently after 12 seasons with the Marlins to take a non-coaching job in Texas.

“I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am with this new opportunity,” Venos said. “This is a program that is rich in tradition. These young ladies know how to work and understand how to compete, and they walk around with the pride of a Mercy girl.”

The Venos family is very familiar with Mercy. Venos’ mother, aunt, wife, sister-in-law and daughter are graduates of the school.