Eskymos Rise to Challenges in Repeat

May 31, 2018

By Mark Johnson
Special for Second Half

HARRIS - Back-to-back Upper Peninsula Division 1 golf championships is a sweet payoff for the Escanaba boys golf team.

The Eskymos were the top team again Thursday, after battling a difficult course at Sweetgrass Golf Club, an afternoon heavy downpour and rain delay and the top U.P. boys golf teams.

“The team performed great,” said Escanaba coach Brian Robinette. “You don’t shoot 317 on a demanding course like this unless your players are focused. This course can beat you down if you let it. Our team was tournament tough today.”

Team balance was the key for the Eskymos, and the 2018 champions were led by senior Nathan Rosseau’s runner-up individual finish (41-34-75). Rosseau said he used the rain delay to his advantage.

“It was a momentum change. I am happy with how I came back on the back nine to shoot a 34,” said Rosseau. “It is awesome to win back-to-back U.P.s, and all our guys were putting up numbers. We played well to win on two tough, tough courses at the GNCs and on this course. Here you are one swing away from a double.”

Sweetgrass played 6,400 yards for the Division 1 championship, using the forward tees. And following the heavy rains, it was a wet golf course before the sun bake and temperatures rose into the 80s for the late afternoon finish on the plush Harris layout.

Robinette praised his senior leader Rosseau and his championship team.

“Nathan is a coach’s dream,” said Robinette. “He is always working on his game, and he puts in the time and I am very proud of all our team winning again this year.”

Escanaba’s Brett McDonough shot 35-44-79 to tie for fifth overall, Trevor Denome carded a 42-38-80 and Jaden Gravelle was the fourth scoring player with a 40-43-83 for the winners.

Gladstone’s Rudy Peterson was the medalist firing a 37-37-74 despite a double bogey on his final hole.

“I hit the ball really well today,” said Peterson. “I played probably the best I have in a long time. My driver was good and my wedges were really good today; I only missed three or four greens.”

Calumet was the team runner-up shooting a 322.

Wyatt Tuoriniemi shot a 43-35-78 to led the second-place finishers, placing fourth individually.

Calumet teammate Tyler Johnson scored a 39-40-79 to tie for fifth.

“They have a nice team,” Robinette said of the Copper Kings. “They have four good players, and we always battled with Houghton (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 champions) too for years.”

Robinette’s teams have now won three U.P. team titles with the other championship in 2011.

Gladstone was third in the team standings with a 336 score. Marquette was fourth (340), and Houghton rounded out the top five with a 344 team tally.

Braves’ coach Dane Quigley was disappointed his team did not contend for the title but happy for individual winner Peterson.

“Our team is disappointed, but we have some four-year players who have been with our program a long time and have done well,” said Quigley.

“At our practice round on Wednesday, Rudy shot a 69, and it carried over to the course today. I am impressed with Rudy’s play all season long for us.”

Marquette junior Jordan Jurma shot a 39-38-77 to place third overall and his coach Ben Smith commented on Jurma’s grit.

“Jordan finished his junior year playing really well today. He eagled number four on a hole-out from 100 yards and chipped in on a par five for an eagle,” said Smith. “He battled back from some penalty shots and bad shots, and he hung in there and competed to the end.”

Sweetwater yielded only seven scores in the 70s, and 16 other golfers shot scores in the 80s.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Escanaba’s championship team, from left: coach Brian Robinette, Trevor DeNome, Jaden Gravelle, Nathan Rousseau, Nick Ramos, Brett McDonough and coach Jake Berlinski. (Middle) Gladstone’s Rudy Peterson. (Photos by Mark Johnson.)

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

By Tom Lang
Special for

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.)