The realignment of the Kensington Lakes Activities Association means the end of the KLAA West, which was home to Brighton, Hartland, Howell and Pinckney sports teams since the 2008-09 school year.
Brighton, Hartland and Howell will be part of the KLAA Gold along with Grand Blanc, Livonia Stevenson, Northville and Novi in all sports except football, gymnastics, hockey and lacrosse.
Pinckney left the KLAA to join the Southeastern Conference. Milford, which left for the newly formed Lakes Valley Conference, was also part of the KLAA West since its inception. Grand Blanc joined in 2009-10, but was voted out of the league, beginning in 2018-19.
The KLAA West featured some great athletes during its nine seasons of existence. There were state champions, all-staters and others who were just outstanding all-around athletes in multiple sports.
This is part of a series on the top 10 male and female athletes in the history of the KLAA West as chosen by Livingston Daily sports reporter Bill Khan. Unlike our annual Livingston County Athlete of the Year selections, great single-sport athletes are recognized on this list. We will count them down, alternating each between girls and boys, over the next three weeks.
No. 10: MADDIE POGARCH
- School: Hartland
- Graduated: 2015
- Sports: Football, basketball, soccer
- College: Central Michigan University soccer
- Accomplishments: Pogarch made the 2015 all-state soccer Dream Team, a compilation of the top 11 players in the state, regardless of division. She is the only Livingston County player in the last 10 years to make that exclusive squad. She received at least honorable mention all-state all four years, making the Division 1 third team in 2013 and first team/Dream Team in 2015. She achieved a statistical milestone by becoming the first Hartland girl to score at least 20 goals and 20 assists when she reached 21 in both categories in 2015. She achieved a different milestone by becoming the first Hartland girl to play on the football team. She decided to come out as a kicker her senior year, because “by senior year … I will never get a chance to play this again,” she said. Pogarch was also a varsity basketball player for two years. She is playing soccer at Central Michigan University, where she made the MAC All-Freshman Team before making second-team All-MAC as a sophomore and junior. Pogarch was Livingston County’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2014-15. In her four-year soccer career, she tallied 56 goals and 45 assists.
- Comment: “I think the respect she gained from the guys was fun to watch,” football coach Brian Savage said. “There were times she’d be beating guys in sprints and you could tell it was causing them some angst. They’d have to compete harder, at least to make it look good.”