Clarkston Everest Follows Individual Standouts to Repeat Team Championship

By Dean Holzwarth
Special for

June 8, 2024

ALLENDALE – Clarkston Everest Collegiate coach David Smith may be a bit biased, but he believed he had two of the top players in Division 4 on his roster entering the season.

Smith’s top performers delivered, and it paved the way to a repeat title.

Everest won the Lower Peninsula Division 4 Boys Golf Final with a two-day total of 664 Saturday at The Meadows at Grand Valley State.

The Mountaineers defeated runner-up Grandville Calvin Christian by eight strokes, while Hillsdale Academy (674) placed third. 

Everest junior Will Pennanen won the medalist honor after shooting a 148 total. He was the only golfer in the field to shoot in the 70s both days.

His teammate, junior Parker Stalcup, closed with a final round 74 to finish fourth at 157.

“We had two of our top guys from last year back and I thought were the best players in Division 4,” Smith said. “And I think they proved today that they are. They just shot good numbers when the pressure was on.

“Will has been chasing Parker, and they are best buddies. Parker pushes Will, and Will pushes Parker. This weekend Will had the better score, and last time it was Parker. They just cheer for each other and encourage and support each other, which makes them both a lot better.” 

Pennanen fired a 76 on Friday amid extremely windy conditions and followed that up with an even-par 72.

Everest and Hillsdale Academy golfers finish a hole.He edged runner-up Michael Houtteman, of Maple City Glen Lake, by three strokes.

 “It was crazy wind (Friday), and I was just trying to stay patient and make as many pars as possible,” Pennanen said. “Just keep the big numbers off the scorecard, just like today. I played well today. I left a few shots out there, but made a lot of birdies and chipped in for eagle.”

The eagle was the highlight of the day, taking place on the par-5, 14th hole.

“I’ve won tournaments before, but this one was really special to do with my team, too,” Pennanen said. “We have a lot of great players, and everyone has been stepping up and playing good. It was a team effort.”

Also contributing for Everest, which won’t graduate a starter, were juniors Mark Cross and Jimmy Schmitt and sophomores Nolan Alban and Dominic Walker.

“We played as a team today, and yesterday,” Stalcup said. “I don’t think at any point we thought we were going to lose this tournament.

“We gained two sophomores who didn’t play last year, so that was huge for our team. Obviously it’s always a cool experience to win the state finals, and we will come back next year stronger.”

Grandville Calvin Christian entered the final round in fifth place, but posted the best team total Saturday to jump into the second spot. The Squires shot a 322, which was 28 shots better than Day 1.

Sophomore Will Orme carded a final round 75 and finished with a 162, while junior Josh VanderWal had a 79 and closed with a 167.

“We say every stroke counts, and it certainly does,” Calvin Christian coach Herm Medema said. “We talked about it last night and this morning at our meetings that we are not that far away. First place was a little bit of a wish, but second place was very doable, and the guys never gave up.

“They kept at it, and it was a pleasure to see. They were more comfortable in their surroundings and a much looser group. They got after it and supported each other so well.”

The runner-up finish was the Squires’ best since they won the Lower Peninsula Class C Final in 1989.

Hillsdale Academy was led by Rykert Frisinger, who finished third individually at 155. 

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PHOTOS (Top) Clakrston Everest Collegiate celebrates its repeat championship Saturday at The Meadows. (Middle) Everest and Hillsdale Academy golfers finish a hole. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)

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