Piedmonte-Lang's 1-Putt Finish Gives Greenhills Championship Sweep

By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com

June 11, 2022

FRANKENMUTH – Ann Arbor Greenhills senior Cale Piedmonte-Lang had one objective in mind, but ultimately he couldn’t have been happier that he did NOT achieve it. 

Stepping up to the par-5, 529-yard 18th hole at The Fortress during the second and final day of the Lower Peninsula Division 3 Boys Golf Final, Piedmonte-Lang was tied individually with Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s Will Preston after recording a birdie on the par-3, 17th hole. 

Piedmonte-Lang had one goal for the 18th: Get a par and into a playoff for the individual title.

“I hit iron off of the tee,” Piedmonte-Lang said. 

After hitting iron off the tee, iron with his second shot and then a wedge to the green, Piedmonte-Lang found himself with roughly 25-foot putt for birdie that seemed like it was akin to putting down a steep hill of concrete.

“I was just trying trickle it to the hole,” he said. “That was one of the fastest putts I had all day. I was just trying to two-putt.”

Lo and behold, the ball ended up not only trickling toward the hole, but in it for a birdie that gave Piedmonte-Lang a one-shot win individually with a two-day total of 143 (72-71). 

Preston shot a 2-under 70 on Saturday to finish at an even-par total of 144, while Mason Anderson of Belding was a shot behind Preston in third place at 145 (73-72). 

“It shocked me a little,” Piedmonte-Lang said. “I thought it was short at first, but it kept going. It was kind of surreal.”

Ann Arbor Greenhills golfEven more surreal was that Piedmonte-Lang also got to celebrate a team title with the rest of the Gryphons, who easily captured their first state championship in boys golf since winning the Class D title in 1994.

Greenhills finished with a two-day score of 612 (306-306), which was 20 shots ahead of runner-up Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett was third at 635.

Piedmont-Lang had plenty of support, with senior Beau Brewer finishing fifth individually with a 150 (71-79) and sophomore Max Shulman finishing sixth at 152 (76-76) for a Greenhills team that was ranked No. 1 in the state going in.

“We got bounced early last year (in Regionals),” Greenhills head coach Michael Karr said. “We didn’t focus too much on it because we didn’t want to bring up bad feelings from last year, but we were definitely motivated this year to go further. It’s not often you have the firepower and talent to win a state title, so you want to take advantage when you’ve got the guys who are that talented to do it.”

Karr said his team got some familiarity with The Fortress when it competed in and won a tournament on the course back in April. 

The team shot a 313 that day, and obviously seemed to like playing the course during the MHSAA Tournament. 

The Gryphons shot a 306 on Friday to take a 10-shot lead over Traverse City Francis going into the second day, and the message from Karr was clear going into Saturday’s final round.

“We wanted to win today’s 18 holes,” Karr said. “That’s what I told the guys. We still had to be aggressive, we still had to be smart. Let’s win today’s 18 holes and leave no doubt.”

Despite windier conditions on Saturday, Greenhills left no doubt as a team, and all that was left at the end was to see if Piedmont-Lang could win the individual title. 

Karr said he told Piedmont-Lang before the 17th hole how things stood, and then camped himself underneath a tree near the 18th green as Piedmont-Lang stood over his birdie attempt.

“Obviously he took the time to read his putt and read it correctly,” Karr said. 

As a result, it was the ultimately storybook ending for Piedmont-Lang and Greenhills. 

“A putt like that to win it is really something special,” Piedmont-Lang said.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Greenhills’ Cale Piedmonte-Lang, left, and GRCC’s Will Preston shake hands at the end of Saturday’s Division 3 Final at The Fortress. (Middle) Piedmonte-Lang also celebrated the team championship with the Gryphons. (Click for more from High School Sports Scene.)

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