Golf: Area teams tee it up in districts
Freshman Adam Cavitt and his Harbor Springs High School golf teammates will play in the Division IV district tournament Thursday at Indian River Golf Club. (News-Review file photo / May 30, 2012)
All the driving-range swings and work around the practice green comes down to this for area high school golf teams as they tee it up in district tournaments on Thursday and Friday, May 31 and June 1.
Petoskey goes to Cadillac Country Club for a Division II district on Friday; on Thursday, Boyne City and Charlevoix go to Cheboygan Golf Club for a Division III event; while several area schools, including Harbor Springs, will partake in the Division IV district at Indian River Golf Club.
The top six teams along with individuals in the top 10 on non-regional qualifying teams advance to regionals, which are scheduled for Thursday, June 7. The Division II regional is at the Pohl Cat in Mount Pleasant, the Division III regional is scheduled for Lakeside Links in Ludington, and the Division IV regional is at River’s Edge in Alpena.
The Northmen figure to be among the favorites to emerge from the 11-team district at Cadillac.
Several familiar names dot the field, including Petoskey’s Big North Conference brethren Cadillac, Gaylord and West Branch Ogemaw Heights.
And the Northmen have played well at Cadillac. Earlier this season, they shot 309 to finish second in a Big North tournament on the course. Among the other schools in the field expected to be in the hunt are Mount Pleasant and Big Rapids.
“You can’t overlook any school, really,” Petoskey coach Chad Loe said. “When you get to the tournament, you have to play your best. We’re not going there to play nine holes and move on to the regional. We have to play all 18. No sigh of relief until all the all the scores are counted and the totals are on the board.
“We are confident even though we haven’t been playing our best lately. We’re looking forward to going back to a course where we’ve played well.”
The Northmen have been pointing toward this stage in the season since before they opened, Loe said.
“Last year, I remember us talking about long-term goals and we were looking at this year because we do have a large group of seniors,” he said. “We’re really bringing a lot of experience and that experience we got last year, hopefully will pay off this year.”
Leading that group of veterans are seniors Hunter Pulaski and Caleb Dann. Pulaski is averaging 79 per 18-hole round, while Dann is at 81.
The rest of the Northmen lineup has been solid and has, by and large, avoided big numbers throughout the season, which is a good sign, Loe said.
Tyler Speigl, Kam Friedli, Cam Ludlow and Jake Dubeau all average from 84-88.
“It’s been a little up and down,” Loe said in reflecting on the season, during which the Northmen finished fourth in the Big North Conference. “But our ups and downs are in the 320s (team score), and in past years, the high scores have been the 350s. ... And we’re all disappointed when we’re in the 320s.
“Our goal is to play our best and our team average is around the mid-320s. We hope to be there, or a little lower than that.”
With so many veterans, Loe recognizes this is a year in which the Northmen are capable of reaching their goal — a state finals berth.
“It’s been a good year,” he said. “I think the real measure will come when we get into the (district) tournament. All of these guys, including me, have high expectations to get to Katke (in Big Rapids), which is where the sate finals are.