Performance: Lakeview's Andrew Walker

June 27, 2016

Andrew Walker
Battle Creek Lakeview senior – Golf

Walker finished his high school career June 11 with his second straight MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 1 Finals championship, shooting a two-day (68-75) 143 and then edging Plymouth’s Jack Boczar in a one-hole playoff at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University to earn the Michigan National Guard “Performance of the Week” for June 6-12.

Walker then was named Mr. Golf for the third straight season by the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association, and since has qualified to return for the second straight summer to the U.S. Junior Amateur, which this year will be played July 18-23 at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. (He also played in the U.S. Amateur as a 14-year-old in 2013, becoming one of the youngest players ever to tee up at the prestigious event.) Walker this spring became the only player in the 16-year history of the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference to win the individual league championship all four seasons, and he shot par or better in 14 of his 20 rounds. Lakeview finished sixth as a team at the MHSAA Final and won the title when Walker was a freshman in 2013.

Boasting a grade-point average above 4.0 and among the top 10 in his class at Lakeview, Walker picked Michigan State University over Duke, Michigan, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State, among others. He followed his brother Filmore Walker IV, also a former high school golf standout, at Lakeview, and the influence of his father Filmore III and godfather and uncle, Gene Hughes, in wearing the straw hat that has become something of a stylistic signature as Andrew has succeeded on the state and nationwide levels. Walker also played basketball as a freshman and sophomore. 

Coach Tony Evans said: "I have known Andrew since he was little because his older brother played for me. Andrew was playing in high-level tournaments at an early age, and everyone expected him to be not only one of the best Michigan players, but one of the best in the nation. There are two things that stand out to me when it comes to Andrew Walker: One is that fact that he was able to handle all of the external and internal pressure and fulfill the expectations that were placed on him by others. The second is the respect that I have for him as a person. Andrew is not only a brilliant student, 4.12 GPA and a 31 on the ACT, he is a kind, funny, and respectful young man. It has been such a pleasure to watch him grow into an honorable young man who has represented our community with utmost integrity. Andrew Walker is not only one of the best high school golfers in Michigan, but one of the best in the nation as well. I can honestly say that Andrew Walker is a better person than he is a golfer. It has been my pleasure and honor to be his coach over the past four years."

Performance Point: (High school golf) meant a ton to me. I can’t really put into words what it meant to me, actually. It’s a great honor to say what I’ve done, and I’m thankful to the people who helped me get through that journey along the way, teammates, coaches, family, friends – whoever they are, they all helped. It definitely was a big part of my golfing career, definitely a big part of my life. I’m glad to say how big a part of me it became; I had some of the best times of my life with the five or six other guys. Looking back it’s really amazing, everything we’ve done, everything I’ve accomplished with those guys.”

Breaking the tie: “We’ve (Walker and Boczar) known each other quite a long time, played a bunch of junior tournaments together. I made it a little more stressful in the second round than I wanted, but it was a ton of fun. Playoffs always pressure-wise are a step above regular competition for me; there’s no time to make up for any mistakes you make, and it demands your best. … Jack told me (after), ‘Congratulations,’ and I was like, ‘Thanks buddy. They was great, a ton of fun.’”

Big brother knows: “I picked up quite a few things from my brother. Definitely work ethic was one of those things. Whenever he was off, he’d start to work on it, and that’s a big thing – don’t get upset or anything, just work on it … go out and fix it. Patience is another thing. Growing up playing golf, I was not a patient kid when I wasn’t playing well. My big brother was a person who helped me grasp the concept that you’ll not always have your game, but be patient, wait for it and do the best with what you have that day.”  

Picking up from the pros: “I look to different people for different aspects of the game. I look at Jordan Spieth, he’s one of the better players in the world, and his putting. … I look at a player like Zach Johnson; his wedge game is phenomenal. My game is my game. I won’t and don’t play like any other player; I play like me. But that’s definitely something I look out for, tips and stuff to help improve different aspects, playing-wise and strategy-wise, and I try to make them my own."

Making a connection: “I’m planning on studying applied engineering sciences … and I’m definitely looking into supply chain management. My dad worked as vice president of the Asia Pacific supply chain for Kellogg’s for a while, and that showed me a bit about that and how it all works. I’m a math/science geek, so it goes with what I want to do.”

– Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2015-16 school year, Second Half and the Michigan National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom, or protecting lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Previous 2015-16 honorees
June 8: Sekayi Bracey, East Kentwood girls track & field - Read
June 1: Anna Jefferson, Oak Park girls track & field - Read
May 25: Connor Bandel, Oxford boys track & field - Read 
May 18: Kalyn Breckenridge, Birch Run girls soccer - Read 
May 11: Morgan Beadlescomb, Algonac boys track & field - Read
May 4: Abby Krzywiecki, Farmington Hills Mercy softball - Read
April 27: Mike Mokma, Holland Christian baseball - Read
April 20: Abby Divozzo, Cadillac girls soccer - Read
March 30: Cassius Winston, Detroit U-D Jesuit boys basketball - Read
March 23: Kierra Fletcher, Warren Cousino girls basketball - Read
March 16: Jacob Montague, Grosse Pointe South swimming & diving - Read
March 9: Kyle Tuttle, St. Charles boys bowling - Read
March 2: Brittney Schnicke, Caledonia girls bowling - Read
Feb. 24: Kamari Newman, Detroit East English boys basketball - Read
Feb. 17: Jason Whitens, Powers North Central boys basketball - Read 
Feb. 10: Rachel Hogan, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Read
Feb. 3: Nehemiah Mork, Midland Dow swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 27: Mardrekia Cook, Muskegon girls basketball - Read
Jan. 20: Sage Castillo, Hartland wrestling - Read
Jan. 13: Rob Zofchak, Dexter swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 6: Tyler Deming, Caro wrestling – Read
Dec. 15: Jordan Weber, East Jordan boys basketball – Read
Dec. 8: Kaitlyn Geers, Kent City girls basketball – Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Andrew Walker watches one of his shots during the MHSAA LP Division 1 Final at The Meadows at Grand Valley State University. (Middle) Walker (right) and Plymouth's Jack Boczar shake hands after Walker won a one-hole playoff to clinch the individual title. (Click to see more from

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

By Geoff Kimmerly 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