Eichhorn, Carney-Nadeau Repeat in D3

June 2, 2016

By Amanda Chaperon
Special for Second Half

GLADSTONE – On Wednesday, Carney-Nadeau’s Hunter Eichhorn took the afternoon off school to play a practice round at Irish Oaks in Gladstone, where the MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 3 Finals would be played the next day.

Last year, when Eichhorn won medalist for the second year in a row, he shot a 68 at that same course.

And Wednesday was no different. His practice round yielded a 69, so it's safe to say he was feeling pretty good heading into Thursday's round.

Unfortunately, his putting was nowhere close to what he would have liked. But that didn't stop Eichhorn from taking medalist honors for the third year in a row with an 18-hole score of 75.

“He's a tremendous kid,” Wolves coach Jake Polfus said. “He has a tremendous work ethic. He puts all the time in to be this good. You don't see that in many kids in any sport around here. He deserves everything he gets. He had a rough day today, but for him that's not that bad. That's where he's grown the most, is how he manages his golf game.”

Throughout the course of the season, Eichhorn has competed against himself. At most events, he was far-and-away the best golfer on the links. On Thursday, however, he had some competition from Cedarville's Avery Freel, who fell to Eichhorn by just two strokes carding a 77.

“I felt good about Avery's game today,” Cedarville coach Rob Freel said. “And I know he had the potential to give Hunter a run for his money. After 15 holes, they were all square. I knew it was probably going to come right down to the wire. Avery kind of had a bad tee shot on 16 and he ended up with a double bogey there, so that was a momentum-stopper for him.

“They're competitive players, and they both came right down to the wire,” coach Freel added. “Avery just fell a little short.”

Avery Freel's overall strategy was a pretty good one considering he was neck-and-neck with the two-time champ with three holes to play.

“I was just trying to match him shot for shot pretty much,” Avery said. “Overall, I thought I played pretty good. I shot even on the front (nine) and then I was just trying to stay with him, and on 16 I had that double (bogey) and that's when it fell apart.”

Despite the fact Freel was going up against “the champ” and one of the best prep golfers in the entire U.P. in any division, he didn't feel he had to change his game.

“It's not hard,” Freel said with a laugh. “You just play your own game.”

Which is exactly what his opponent, Eichhorn, did to earn himself the honor of top player at the tournament, and also help his team to its second straight U.P. Finals title.

Well, that, and knock in a few crucial putts.

One of those big putts was to birdie No. 17, a par three. While Eichhorn’s putts down the stretch saved him, he wasn't impressed with his short game overall.

“My putting was brutal,” he said with a laugh. “I made the two biggest putts that I had to make, but other than that, I didn't make anything.

“I played a lot better last year,” he added. “And I played here a lot better yesterday (Wednesday). I was getting beat by Avery with I think four holes to go, but I made those big putts to secure the win and to help our team win.”

The Wolves totaled a 344, comprised of scores from Eichhorn, Mason Linder (87), Cameron Kuntze (89), and Kage Linder (93).

“I think the way they practice is a huge strength,” Polfus said. “You know, how much time they put into it. And our one through five. We used our fifth golfer's score today instead of our number four, so I just think that helps out a lot. I feel like we're deep, and just their work ethic is always a good thing.”

Avery Freel's score factored into his team's runner-up finish. The Trojans shot a combined 358, helped also by Mike Haske (93), Chase Fisher (94), and Trevor Kohlmann (94).

The top five individual scores were rounded out by Mitchell Borseth of Ontonagon in third with a score of 81, followed by Painesdale-Jeffers' Jacob Zerbst with an 82 and Lake Linden-Hubbell's Jason Sutherland with an 83.

The Wolves and Trojans were followed in the team standings by Chassell with a score of 361, Ontonagon with a 362 and Painesdale-Jeffers with a 374.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Carney-Nadeau's Hunter Eichhorn watches his drive on hole No. 15 at Irish Oaks Golf Club in Gladstone during Thursday's Division 3 U.P. Final. Eichhorn was medalist with a 75. (Middle) Cedarville's Avery Freel putts on hole No. 17. Freel finished second overall with a 77. (Photos by Amanda Chaperon.)

Lacrosse Finals Move to U-M Among Headlines as Spring Sports Ramp Up

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

April 9, 2024

The Girls & Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played at University of Michigan Lacrosse Stadium for the first time, one of the most notable changes for this season as sports ramp up for more than 100,000 athletes anticipated to participate this spring for Michigan High School Athletic Association member schools.

The MHSAA sponsors postseason competition each spring in baseball, girls and boys lacrosse, girls soccer, softball, girls and boys track & field, boys golf (Lower and Upper Peninsula) and girls golf (UP), and girls (LP) and boys (UP) tennis.

The U-M Lacrosse Stadium opened for competition in 2018 and seats 2,000 spectators. The Girls Lacrosse Finals will be played Friday, June 7, with Division 1 at 4 p.m. and Division 2 at 7 p.m. The Boys Lacrosse Finals will be played the following day, June 8, with Division 2 at 11 a.m. and Division 1 at 2 p.m.

Girls lacrosse also has a significant format adjustment this season, as games will be played with four 12-minutes quarters instead of the previous two halves, in part to allow coaches more opportunities to provide direct instruction during a game. Two more rules changes are expected to improve flow of play – players awarded a free position outside of the critical scoring area no longer must come to a stop and settled stance before self-starting, and false start penalties outside the critical scoring area have been eliminated.

Several more rules changes will be noticeable this spring:

In boys lacrosse, a change was made to enhance player safety. Play will stop immediately any time a player’s helmet comes off, and that player may not return until the next dead ball after play continues.

Fair and legal starts are a continued emphasis for track & field, and a rule change will allow for movement before the start of the race as long as a competitor does not leave their mark with a hand or a foot after the “set” command, or make forward motion before the starting device is activated.

A significant rule change in softball alters pitch delivery mechanics. The pitcher may now have both feet off the ground at the same time when releasing the ball as long as both feet remain within the 24-inch width of a pitching plate and the pitcher does not replant the pivot foot before delivering the pitch.

Another change in softball requires that a playbook/playcard be worn on the wrist or kept in a back pocket to reduce distractions. If worn by the pitcher, the equipment must be worn on the non-pitching arm. Similarly in baseball, a wristband with plays or instructions will be permitted but must be a single, solid color, and for pitchers may not contain the colors white or gray or be otherwise distracting. Baseball players must wear this wristband on the wrist or forearm, and pitchers may wear one only on their non-pitching arm.

Also in baseball, a rule change allows for one-way communication devices worn by the catcher to receive instructions from the dugout while on defense, for the purpose of calling pitches. The coach must be inside the dugout/bench area to use the communication device.

Golfers now are required to participate in at least four competitions for the high school team prior to representing that school team in an MHSAA Regional or Final. Those four regular-season competitions may be 9 or 18-hole events.

In tennis, for the first time in Lower Peninsula play, a No. 1 doubles flight from a non-qualifying team will be able to advance from its Regional to Finals competition. To do so, that No. 1 doubles flight must finish first or second at its Regional, and the No. 1 singles player from that team also must have qualified for the Finals individually by finishing first or second in Regional play.

On the soccer pitch, two officiating-related changes will be especially noticeable. Officials now may stop the clock to check on an injured player without that player being required to leave the match – previously that player would have to sub out. Also, categories for fouls have been redefined: careless (which is a foul but does not receive a card), reckless (a foul with a yellow card) and excessive force (foul with red card). 

The 2023-24 Spring campaign culminates with postseason tournaments, as the championship schedule begins with the Upper Peninsula Girls & Boys Golf and Boys Tennis Finals during the week of May 27 and wraps up with Girls Soccer, Baseball and Softball Finals on June 15. Here is a complete list of winter tournament dates:

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regional Semifinals – June 5
Regional Finals, Quarterfinals – June 8
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Boys Regionals – May 28-June 1
UP Girls & Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Boys Finals – June 7-8

Boys Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 10-15
Regionals – May 16-29
Quarterfinals – May 31 or June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 8

Girls Lacrosse
Pre-Regionals – May 16-18, or May 20
Regionals – May 22-June 1
Semifinals – June 5
Finals – June 7

Girls Soccer
Districts – May 22-June 1
Regionals – June 4-8
Semifinals – June 11-12
Finals – June 14-15

Districts – May 23-June 1
Regionals – June 8
Quarterfinals – June 11
Semifinals – June 13-14
Finals – June 15

LP Girls Regionals – May 15-18
UP Boys Finals – May 29, 30, 31 or June 1
LP Girls Finals – May 31-June 1

Track & Field
Regionals – May 16-18
Finals – June 1