DCC Moves Up From 2nd Last Year to 1st This Time with Sizzling Saturday

By Tom Lang
Special for MHSAA.com

June 11, 2022

BIG RAPIDS – A comeback didn’t seem possible.

But then again, as the saying goes, in sports anything can happen.

Last season’s Lower Peninsula Division 1 champ Ann Arbor Skyline was cruising along with a 10-shot lead over last year’s runner up, Detroit Catholic Central, with only four holes to play Saturday at Ferris State University’s Katke Golf Course.

That’s when the switch got flipped.

The DCC team – including star Peter Stassinopoulos – had been playing better than most, but at that point not well enough to overcome Skyline’s first-day lead.

But the senior finished the day at 2-under par 70, by way of a sizzling run of 5-under par on the last four holes (birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie) to lead his team to a huge comeback win over Skyline with a Saturday team score (top four golfers) of 2-under par 286 to Skyline’s 293. The final margin was 587-589 for the two-day Division 1 Final tournament.

“I’ve been saying this to myself the last couple of weeks, ‘pedal to the metal,’ regardless of where I’m at, and regardless of who is around you, or what they tell you, or what the conditions are,” Stassinopoulos said, soon after getting a dousing of ice water out of a cooler by his teammates during a TV interview. “I saw my coach’s face on 14, and he didn’t look too happy. And I just knew that we either had to finish strong or at least put a good game face on. I didn’t know where we stood (team scoring), but I made the right swings and our team got it done.”

DCC coach Mike Anderson described the final 45-60 minutes of play like this:

Anderson said that he was at the 15th tee box, a par 3. Skyline was 10 strokes up at that time.

“I was talking with the Skyline coach there and I didn’t say congratulations (you won), but I said, ‘It’s been fun watching your team today. You’ve played really solid all day.’

“Then our Liam (Casey) hit it in there to one foot and tapped it in for birdie. The next guy hits it in there close and makes birdie, the next guy makes par. And every time we’re doing that the Skyline guys are making bogies.”

Anderson went to the 16th hole, where his players were making birdies on that par 5 hole, after Stassinopoulos made an eagle. By the time both teams were going through the 17th tee, the team scoring was tied.

Ann Arbor Skyline golf“No. 17 is not an easy hole. It’s a 170-yard par 3 over water, hard left-to-right pin,” Anderson said. “Then Liam, Peter and Neil (Zhu) all hit it inside 10 feet, and they all make the putt for birdie. So, all of a sudden we’re leading, and the guys finished 18 strong.”

Skyline sophomore Ieuan Jones played solid and steady to win individual medalist, after a runner-up showing last year as a freshman. He scored 69-69-138 to win by six strokes over junior Andrew Daily of Brighton and East Lansing sophomore Drew Miller.

Jones said he can never be disappointed by winning a tournament, which he’s done many times in his short career.

“I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get it done as a team, but I’m happy I left everything out there,” Jones said as players and teams were gathering around the scoreboard. He said the key is always the drivers and putter, and if those are going well it’s all good.

“I was making sure that I stayed focused on every single shot,” Jones added. “I knew the team scoring was going to come down to some pretty close numbers, so I was making sure I did what I could.”

Jones was very cognizant of the strong winds blowing across Katke. The wind picked up in the afternoon when he was playing the back nine with more tree-lined fairways providing some protection – that same back nine where the winning Shamrocks team poured it on. The runner-up finish to Skyline last year was a huge motivation for DCC’s golfers.

Neil Zhu was DCC’s top individual finisher over the two days, tying for fourth at 145 (73-72). Stassinopoulos tied for sixth at 146 (76-70), Julian Mesner was eighth at 147 (74-73) and Casey tied for ninth at 149 (78-71) while also shooting under par for his second round.

“Going off the first tee, I knew they’ve got one (title) under their belts, and just want another one,” Stassinopoulos said. “And we really wanted our first for this groups of guys. We’re out there day and night, rain, no rain, and I think this group of boys deserve it.”

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PHOTOS (Top) DCC’s Peter Stassinopoulos sends an approach shot during Saturday’s LPD1 Final at Katke. (Middle) An Ann Arbor Skyline golfer tees off during the second round. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)

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.)