3-Sport Ace Powers Thru Final Spring

May 10, 2017

By Tom Kendra
Special for Second Half

Collin Powers turned quite a few heads when, at the age of 10, he fired a hole-in-one in his first major junior golf tournament.

Those who knew his golf pedigree just shook their heads and smiled.

“My grandpa and two of my uncles were golf pros, so I guess you could say that I have golf in my blood,” said Powers, now an 18-year-old senior and three-time Division 4 all-state golfer at Muskegon Catholic Central.

Powers continued his own string of success and the family golf tradition last week by capturing medalist honors for the second time in the past three years at the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association city golf tournament at Stonegate Golf Club. He overcame a 40 on the front nine with a sizzling 34 on the back for a 2-over par total and a two-shot win.

Winning the GMAA event was certainly a goal, but his biggest motivation for this season is to go out as an individual and, more important to him, a team champion at the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 4 Golf Finals to be played June 9-10 at Forest Akers East in East Lansing.

“If I can only have one of those two, I would choose the team state championship every time,” said Powers, who will play golf next year at the University of Indianapolis. “That would be a dream come true.”

Powers’ dream of winning a team title for the Crusaders is not surprising understanding that, in addition to golf in his blood, he also has a heavy dose of Muskegon Catholic Central green-and-gold pulsing through his veins.

His paternal grandfather, Tom Powers, was the longtime superintendent of Greater Muskegon Catholic Schools. His maternal grandfather, John Partenio, is a former head varsity girls basketball coach for the Crusaders and a former golf instructor at Muskegon Community College.

Collin’s dedication to his school is right up there with his love for golf, which is one of the reasons he played three sports – soccer, hockey and golf – throughout high school in an era where more and more golf standouts are choosing to specialize.

This winter, Powers was the leading scorer and most valuable player for the Muskegon Reeths-Puffer hockey team, which includes Muskegon Catholic Central students as part of a cooperative agreement. In the fall, Powers was a starting midfielder for MCC after originally deciding to forego his senior soccer season to play more golf.

“In the end, I couldn’t do it. I missed it way too much,” said Powers, the son of Kelly and Lisa Powers. “I’m so glad I played. Some of those games we had in the tournament were the most fun I’ve had in my life.”

Powers played a key role as the unheralded Crusaders, who started the MHSAA Tournament with a .500 record (8-8-4) before upsetting one team after another en route to the Division 4 championship game, which they lost to Burton Genesee Christian, 3-0. Powers had a crucial goal in the second overtime of MCC’s dramatic victory over perennial power Kalamazoo Hackett in the Semifinals.

Now, he and his teammates are making their final high school sports memories on the golf course.

Powers first made a name for himself in high school golf two years ago as a sophomore, when he won the Muskegon city championship and finished tied for fifth at the MHSAA Finals. He moved up to third in Division 4 last spring and led his team to a third-place finish, Muskegon Catholic’s best showing at the Finals in 18 years.

MCC last won an MHSAA golf championship back in 1990 in Class C. But with Powers and the entire nucleus of last year’s team returning as seniors, the Crusaders are gunning for the top spot.

Chase Mastella, Nick Morgenstern, Nate Sullivan and Connor Inglat are all seniors who have figured in the scoring for Muskegon Catholic this season, along with junior Adam Gawron.  

“The thing about Collin is that he practices more than anyone I know,” said MCC golf coach Jimmy Hegedus, who noted that Powers has been hanging around the MCC varsity players ever since he was in middle school. “It’s great when you have a No. 1 player like that. We’re excited about this season because we have a great group of seniors.”

Powers is really starting to live up to his surname this spring, as he has sprouted up to 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds and now averages better than 285 yards off the tee, Hegedus said. That increased distance, coupled with his always-deft putting touch, certainly makes him one of the favorites to take home individual medalist honors.

In addition to increased distance, Hegedus said Powers also has made huge strides in the mental game.

At last week’s Muskegon city meet, Powers hit several poor chip shots on the front nine and turned with a disappointing 40. He calmed himself down, however, and made a nice birdie on the 11th hole to come home in 34.

“I think the mental game is the thing I’ve worked hardest on,” Powers said. “My grandpa always used to tell me that golf is always about the next shot. I guess I’m finally starting to understand what he meant by that.”

When he starts having problems with his game and he’s not able to self-correct it, Powers often makes a call or pays a visit to one of his first teachers, his uncle, Casey Powers, who happens to be the head golf professional at Boyne Mountain Resort. Casey Powers’ son and Collin’s cousin, Griffin, is a standout senior on the Boyne City golf team.

“We have been going up there since Collin was a little kid, and him and Griffin would be running around on the course and the driving range and putting on the practice green,” said Collin’s father, Kelly Powers, who played quarterback at both the Air Force Academy and Hope College. “Collin has been around the game for a long time. He’s very comfortable on a golf course.”

It’s in his blood.

Tom Kendra worked 23 years at The Muskegon Chronicle, including five as assistant sports editor and the final six as sports editor through 2011. E-mail him at [email protected] with story ideas for Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, Lake, Oceola, Mecosta and Newaygo counties.

PHOTOS: (Top) Collin Powers tees off during the 2016 MHSAA Division 4 Boys Golf Finals at Forest Akers West in East Lansing. Powers tied for third. (Middle) Powers was the leading scorer this winter on the Muskegon-Reeths Puffer cooperative hockey team, which included five players from Muskegon Catholic Central. (Below) Powers moves the ball upfield during Muskegon Catholic's Division 4 Semifinal soccer game against Kalamazoo Hackett. Powers had a goal in the second overtime period to lead MCC to a 4-3 win. (Photos by Tim Reilly.)

Bloomfield Hills JV Golfer Adds Rare Highlight to Strong Spring with Par-4 Hole-In-One

By Tom Lang
Special for MHSAA.com

May 24, 2024

Freshman Lucas Dostal was just aiming for a drive down the middle of the par-4 17th fairway.

Just seconds later, he finished the hole at Hudson Mills Metro Park in that one swing with the driver.

The Bloomfield Hills junior varsity player didn’t see from the tee his ace on the 329-yard hole drop in the cup, so the reaction was delayed – but still refreshing.

“I hit a draw, so the ball started right, then went left and it was kinda going toward the pin but it was too hard to see,” he said in an email. “The ground was firm, and there was some down wind.

“I didn’t see the ball at all go in, but once I realized it, I was in shock. It helped me shoot a really good 71, but I tripled bogeyed (4-putt) the last hole so that kinda ruined it.”

Spoken like a true competitive golfer.

That 71 was good for medalist at the tournament April 20 versus other JV teams like Detroit Catholic Central, Novi and Grand Blanc, and brought way more attention to his game than he’d like.

The program’s junior varsity coach David Lumsden, a North Hills middle school teacher, said a lot of people assumed he’d be bumped up to varsity very soon; even local media talked that way. After all, it was the first tournament of the season, and Dostal comes into the clubhouse with an albatross and a win.

Dostal, standing third from right, is joined by his team after they won the Ace & Bob Byerlein JV Tournament that day. “He is a good golfer, and the first thing I did was email the varsity coach and said I think this kid has got the goods to be on varsity,” Lumsden said. “We had purposefully left two varsity spots open because we have so many young kids who are good golfers; we didn’t know who to choose and left two spots (flexible). I suggested Lucas, but we agreed since he was a freshman to give him a couple more events and see how he does.

“I think he shot in the high 70s the next tournament and the 80s after that. And Lucas came to me after that and said, ‘Coach, can you put me on the B team?’ I think the pressure was getting to him being No. 1 on the A team. So, me and the varsity coach agreed he needs a year on JV to play in some more matches and tournaments and grow into that varsity position.”

The JV team went 9-0 this spring in dual meets and finished in the top 10 in five of six tournaments.

“He’s going to be a great golfer,” Lumsden said. “There’s no part of his game that is lacking. He’s got a great short game. Off the tee he’s amazing. And I’ve watched him make really great recovery shots with his irons. He’s going to be really good; we’re just taking it slow. Don’t want to put all this pressure on him and end up having him quit golf too early.

“Lucas is very mild-mannered. He doesn’t talk a lot. He loves golf and has a brother (Domonic) playing on the varsity team who’s really good too. They are both golf fanatics and love the game. It’s very enjoyable to watch him getting into it and getting used to being a good golfer and getting this kind of recognition. He’s not been bragging about anything, and he’s just a solid golfer.”

If Dostal does make varsity in 2025, he should be joining his brother for that one year together on the team.

“The awareness (of his game) is there,” Lumsden said. “He’s really got the temperament to be somebody that’s going to be a top golfer.

“Many of the top golfers in the state are here in Southeast Michigan, so he’s got a lot of good competition. He might be used to going out with his buddies and beating them by 10 strokes with no problem; now he’s going against kids who are just as good as he is, or better.

“And this is just JV golf. Once you go to varsity, those kids go really low.”

PHOTOS (Top) Bloomfield Hills’ Lucas Dostal shows the ball he drove into the hole next to him for a par-4 hole-in-one April 20 at Hudson Mills Metro Park. (Middle) Dostal, standing third from right, is joined by his team after they won the Ace & Bob Byerlein JV Tournament that day. (Photos courtesy of the Bloomfield Hills JV golf program.)