The Zeeland East Chix and the Zeeland West Dux met on Friday night in the closest rivalry game in town. These two schools share the same property, and their students can even take classes in the opposite building. There was no shortage of talent on the field in this one, as both schools entered the twentieth edition of the Bird Bowl with 2-0 records. An additional storyline to follow was that Zeeland West coach John Shillito sat on 299 career victories as this game began. He would become the 13th coach in the MHSAA to reach the 300 plateau as the Dux rolled to a 34-14 victory.

Zeeland West got out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter of this game, a point total that matched the Chix’ performance in the entirety of the contest. They scored on runs by quarterback Carson Gulker and Skyler Geurink. This was another exemplary performance for Gulker, as he would finish the night with four total touchdown. He would add more one rushing touchdown (seven yards) and two passing scores (14 and 42 yards).

The 300th victory of coach John Shillito was a remarkable one. A breakdown of his career victories:

21-8 at Comstock Park (1982-84)

100-42 at Muskegon Orchard View (1986-99)

34-11 at East Kentwood (2000-03)

145-34 at Zeeland West (2005-present)


Notable teams for Shillito:

1983 Comstock Park team went 10-1 and made the Class C Semifinals

1993 Orchard View team went 10-1, first undefeated regular season, first playoffs in school history

1995 Orchard View team went 11-2, lost in the Class B finals against Country Day

1999 Orchard View team went 13-1, lost in Class B finals against Country Day, this team also holds the MHSAA record for total points in a season (774, 55.3 PPG)

2002 East Kentwood went 13-1, lost in the Class A finals against Detroit Catholic Central

2006 Zeeland West went 13-1, won the Division 4 State Championship

2011 Zeeland West went 14-0, won the Division 4 State Championship

2013 Zeeland West went 13-1, won the Division 3 State Championship

2015 Zeeland West went 14-0, won the Division 4 State Championship


The other coaches in the 300 win club include:

John Herrington 443 (Farmington Hills Harrison)

Al Fracassa 430 (Royal Oak Shrine, Birmingham Brother Rice)

Tom Mach 370 (Detroit Catholic Central)

Herb Brogan 370 (active at Jackson Lumen Christi)

Mike Boyd 361 (Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes)

Ralph Munger 332 (Frankenmuth, Rockford)

Ken Hofer 322 (Stephenson, Menominee)

Bob Lantzy 309 (Utica Eisenhower, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek)

Leo “Smokey” Boyd 308 (Standish Sterling, Saginaw Nouvel)

Jack Pratt 304 (Flint St. Matthew, Grand Blanc, Flint Kearsley, Flint Powers)

Jim Ahern 303 (active at Lansing Catholic)

John Shillito 300 (active at Zeeland West)


Next week, Coach Shillito’s Dux will travel to Holland to take on the Dutch. Zeeland East will host Muskegon in a big game in the OK Green.