Lansing Catholic Claims 3rd Straight in D3

June 6, 2015

By Mark Meyer
Special for Second Half 

EAST LANSING – Adam Elias is the epitome of a team player at Lansing Catholic, where MHSAA golf championships, both boys and girls, have been the norm for the past five seasons. 

The Cougars boys chalked up their third straight title Saturday afternoon at Forest Akers West, even though their senior leader did not have one of his best days.

But despite shooting 83, Elias was all smiles while clutching the team trophy and posing for victory photos. 

“Not my best day (83), but in the end it didn’t really matter,” said Elias, whose team posted a 12-shot victory, 623-635, over runner-up Ludington. “The goal was to win the title, get our third straight championship. In the end, I’m really proud of the way my team played.”

Lansing Catholic junior Owen Rush shot 77 on Saturday for a two-day total of 151 and finished third overall behind two-time MHSAA individual champion Spencer Hackett of Ludington. Hackett shot medalist rounds of even par 72 both days to finish five strokes ahead of Andrew Skibski of Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, who shot 74-75-149. 

Rush and Elias had plenty of support from Cougars teammates Patrick Gillespie (75-81-156), Niko Voutsaras (79-79-158) and Ethan O’Farrell (77-83-160).

“We had some nerves at the beginning of the round,” said first-year Lansing Catholic coach Kim Johnson, “but the boys settled themselves down and tried to keep the boat steady.” 

Jackson Lumen Christi, second to Lansing Catholic in 2013 and 2014 and a four-time champion from 2009-12, finished third behind the Cougars and Ludington at 653, one stroke ahead of Flint Powers. Manistee rounded out the top five at 658.

Brock Spink of Hanover-Horton (76-76-152) and Rhet Schrauben of Portland (78-75-153) completed the top five among individuals. 

Henry Hitt (76-83-159) led Lumen Christi’s scoring, tying him with Ethan Leavitt of Ludington (77-82-159). 

Johnson lauded Lansing Catholic’s overall play but was particularly proud of Rush and Gillespie. 

“We talked about the champion mindset at the beginning of the season, and I could see that they started to adapt some of those techniques,” said Johnson. “You could tell that they were thinking positive thoughts and always looking toward the next shot.”

The championship three-peat is one moment that Elias won’t soon forget. 

“We had a rough start to the season but we worked through it,” he said. “This is huge. I could not be more proud of my team.”

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PHOTO: Lansing Catholic poses with its MHSAA championship trophy after winning its third straight title. (Middle) A player at the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Final hits an approach shot during the weekend. (Click to see more from

Emeralds Complete Their Half of Title Sweep with Team, Individual Champs

By Jason Juno
Special for Second Half

May 31, 2023

NORWAY – Manistique’s Ryan McEvers said he would have been happy with a score in the 80s at Wednesday’s Upper Peninsula Division 2 Final.

That makes sense, considering his coach Tim Noble couldn’t remember him recording a score in the 70s at a tournament before.

McEvers, a junior, stepped up at the right time, shooting an incredible 74 at Oak Crest. That score won him the Division 2 individual title and pushed the Emeralds to the team championship.

Norway's Carson Chartier chips toward the green at Oak Crest. Had he shot in the 80s, Manistique would have finished behind Painesdale Jeffers, which ended three strokes back in second place.

Noble thought a Manistique boys and girls team title sweep was possible. But he admitted he was more confident in the girls, who won as well Wednesday.

That is, until McEvers shot an even-par 36 on the front nine, the best of anyone on the course.

“I knew we were suddenly in it for the boys,” Noble said.

It was the Emeralds’ first team championship since 2007.

They did it with two players in the 70s – Landon Dougherty shot a 78. Manistique finished with a score of 331, while Jeffers was at 334. The Jets were led by individual runner-up Todd Rautiola, who carded a 76.

The Emeralds’ Grant Mason follows his shot. Jeffers didn’t have anyone else in the 70s, though. They didn’t have anybody have a day like McEvers, whose personal best in any round of golf before Wednesday was a 78.

“I’d be happy shooting in the 80s today,” he said. “But the guys that I was playing with were fun, and I felt really good about it. I didn’t look at my scorecard until the end, and it all added up nicely.”

Noble said he was texting McEvers’ dad updates all day – “and he couldn’t believe it.” McEvers’ teammates surrounded him afterward, and they expressed their disbelief as well. 

“I think I counted I only had two bad shots,” McEvers said. “My drives were straight. Putting from the fringe probably saved me a lot. But it was all coming together nicely.”

Oak Crest may have lent a helping hand.

“This course is made for a player like Ryan – short, precision,” Noble said.

Norway’s Carson Chartier shot a 77 to finish third. Hancock’s Jackson Sintkowski shot a 78 to match Dougherty in fourth.

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PHOTOS (Top) Manistique, including individual medalist Ryan McEvers, celebrate Wednesday’s championship sweep. (Middle) Norway's Carson Chartier chips toward the green at Oak Crest. (Below) The Emeralds’ Grant Mason follows his shot. (Photos by Jason Juno.)