Farewell to the leaders of Milford’s athletics

Maddie Melody, Assistant Editor

In honor of the senior athletes finishing off their final seasons at Milford High School, it is important to celebrate this bittersweet ending by recognizing the legacy these student athletes have left. The Class of 2021 has persevered and conquered every obstacle that has impeded its journey to success. Every senior athlete deserves utmost appreciation for their accomplishments; this senior class paved the way for the future of Milford sports.. Below are just a few (but definitely not all) senior student athletes whose hard work, balance, and ability helped them to rise above and give them the opportunity to pursue their dreams at the next level.


Kaz Bowring:

Kaz Bowring is an extremely decorated cross country runner. During the 2020 cross country season, Bowring earned an individual Conference Championship title (1st Team All-Conference), 2nd place All-County, an individual Regional Championship title, as well as 14th place All-State, and Academic All-State.

Bowring began taking the sport seriously after he was told he would be joining the varsity team at the State Championship his freshman year. He realized he was an important part of the team and could only rise from there.

After being on the Milford Cross Country team for four years, Bowring has been given countless opportunities to learn and grow within the sport. “The biggest takeaway I had from Milford Cross Country is that all your individual success comes from your team’s success,” he shared. “To build and become a stronger runner, you truly need a close team for support.”

Bowring has definitely had a positive impact on his team as well. “It’s really cool having someone as gifted as himself be a part of the program. It shows how far consistency and discipline can get you in life and he pushes the rest of the team [members] to work just as hard to accomplish their own goals,” said Senior Luke Ballard. “It’s also really cool being close with someone who is so successful in whatever aspect of life he applies himself to–he makes you want to be your best self.”

Over the years, the Class of 2021’s runners have been crucial to the team. The group has proven to be strong through its successes.

1st Team All-Conference athlete Shane Siterlet is planning to continue his cross country career at Lansing Community College, and Bowring will be continuing his cross country career at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.


Lauren Malkowski:

Lauren Malkowski is a four-year varsity competitive cheerleader. She started cheering in fourth grade for the Milford Mustangs. Since then, Malkowski and her team placed 3rd at districts, 2nd in the LVC, and has been two-time Regional Championship qualifiers in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.

“My favorite memory of cheering at Milford was making it to Regionals my junior year,” said Malkowski.

Malkowski’s teammates look up to her, as she has taken on a strong leadership role on the varsity team here at Milford. She has a very strong skill set, good tips for other athletes, and most importantly, knowledge about the sport. “She has been a great leader in round one. She’s also a strong flyer with lots of experience,” said Senior Emma Dittrick.

It is no doubt that the senior cheerleaders have put up a great fight to progress and change the direction of the team. Their freshman year, the team earned a score of 615.72 at districts; this year, the Mavs earned a score of 753.3!

“These senior girls did not come in as a ‘dream team’–they had goals, determination, pride, ambition and resilience like no other to make the dream a reality,” said Cheerleading Coach Patti Warzecha.

Malkowski is currently in the process of trying out for the Michigan State Co-Ed Cheer Team, which is where she is planning to attend next fall. Other teammates such as Emma Dittrick and Savannah Wood are also planning to cheer in college.


Devon Beale:

Devon Beale is a stand-out softball player and team captain at Milford. Beale also plays for a National Travel Ball team, T2 Robeson/Long. She has been an incredible role model for younger athletes in the Milford program. Beale inspires many athletes at school through her athletic ability, perseverance and humbleness.

“My favorite part about Milford softball was being able to build strong relationships with each player on the team and make memories that will last forever,” Beale said. Not only is Beale dedicated to her training, but she is immensely devoted to her team as well.

“Devon has a very positive attitude and is always pushing others to work hard,” said Junior Taylor Mitchell. Mitchell has been a long time friend of Beale’s and said she is grateful to have a chance to play on a team with her. She also included that Beale has inspired her to possibly want to play in college.

“My message to anyone who wants to play in college is to keep working hard and you will achieve your goals,” Beale said. “Another thing that is key to getting into the college that you want to play a certain sport in would be to make sure you keep up with your grades and constantly email the coaching staff and send out your schedule for the sport you play.”

Beale is planning to attend Northern Illinois University next fall to continue her career in D1 softball.


Addison Krzyzak:

Addison Krzyzak is currently a captain of the soccer team alongside Seniors Brianna Hipple and Rachel Maude. She has many accomplishments throughout her years at Milford, but one that stands out specifically was beating South Lyon her freshman year.

“We rarely win against them, so it was an amazing feeling to be a part of such a great team,” said Krzyzak.

Krzyzak has been playing soccer for more than 12 years, so she is not only honored for her talent, but her knowledge of the sport as well. She’s had many opportunities to grow within the sport: “If I could give advice to my younger teammates, [I would advise them to] never have anyone tear you down just because they say you can’t. Always prove them wrong.”

She is known to her younger teammates as a strong leader in the sport. Krzyzak has been described as cheerful and uplifting, and her experience is  incredibly valuable to the team’s growth. “Addison is adaptable and always willing to jump in where the team needs her,” said Junior Lily Shaw.

When speaking about the seniors as a whole, Shaw mentioned that, “They are a very positive group of seniors.” The girls soccer team is no doubt losing an impactful class heading into next season.

As for Krzyzak, she will be continuing to play soccer at Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan next fall.

Trevor Leigh:

Trevor Leigh is an athlete that really embraced the true meaning of Milford Pride. Leigh is motivated by his family and community to strive to be his absolute best each day. “Family is something that is super important to me, and the Milford community to me is also like a family,” said Leigh.

One specific game that stood out to Leigh was the first game of his senior year. In this particular game, Milford beat Mott: “It was a great way to start the year and was a great team win,”  Leigh explained. The aspect of working as a team is obviously important to him as well. During his time at Milford, Leigh was also a part of the basketball team.

“Trevor is strong-minded and is very productive. He gets his message across quickly,” said Junior Max Wilkerson. Leigh’s passion for the game and experienced tactics have earned him respect from his teammates, and  many of them look up to him as a role model.

Leigh definitely took advantage of his time on the Milford Football team. He made the most of each and every game, regardless of the circumstances, and he worked extremely hard his whole way through.

“Make as many memories as you can while playing football. Enjoy playing each and every day. Play with effort all the time,” Leigh advised younger athletes. “Lastly, get in the weight room–it makes a world of difference and makes you a much better player.”

Leigh is planning to attend Northern Michigan University this fall to play football and major in Education.

Tommy Damon:

Tommy Damon is currently rounding out his last baseball season at Milford. Throughout high school, he has worked his absolute hardest to come out on top with fellow seniors. He has been playing since he was three, but his goal for this year is to have the team’s best season yet. Damon had his junior season canceled due to the pandemic restrictions, but he took that disappointment and turned it into fuel for this season.

“After our junior season was cancelled, you could find Dustin Cummins, Ethan Young, and I at the cages everyday. We didn’t stop working and that’s what is going to make our senior season so special,” said Damon. The boys have extremely high hopes for their team this year and have done everything in their power to help set the team apart from the rest. Their motivation, led by Damon and other seniors, is unmatchable.

“My favorite memory hasn’t happened yet. I believe the best memories are going to happen in 2021,” said Damon, when speaking of their future season.

Junior Josh McCoy agreed. “We’ve worked really hard throughout the off season, and the seniors have definitely pushed the underclassman to be their absolute best,” he said. “They are a really great group of guys.”

Damon’s biggest piece of advice is as follows: “My advice is to be yourself and work harder than everyone else, and you’ll get where you want to go. Be a dreamer.”

Damon is leaving Milford with the thought that this team will leave a lasting legacy. The underclassmen will continue to work just as hard to carry out this newfound tradition. The boys are eager to win, and that’s what it is going to take to build up Milford Baseball. Damon is planning to attend Cleary University this fall to continue putting his heart into baseball.


Overall, the Class of 2021 has impacted Milford High School with it’s many athletic achievements, but it is the students leadership skills that will leave an impact for years to come. Balancing school, athletics and a social life is an incredible accomplishment in itself. Congratulations to these seniors and their fellow classmates, and good luck with wherever your next path may take you!

Addison Krzyzak playing soccer on her home field (Photo courtesy of Jerry Rea).
Kaz Bowring and his teammates with one of their many trophies (Photo courtesy of Kaz Bowring).
Football player Trevor Leigh with his family on senior night (Photo courtesy to Jerry Rea).
Cheerleader Lauren Malkowski posing in front of her future home (Photo courtesy of Lauren Malkowski).