Relaxed Approach does FHN's Schab Good

May 27, 2016

By Dean Holzwarth
Special for Second Half

GRAND RAPIDS -- Spencer Schab has a different approach to the game of golf this season.

The Forest Hills Northern senior isn’t taking things as seriously as in past years.

“I thought of it as, this is my senior year, it’s my last high school season, so why put so much pressure on myself and make it less enjoyable?,” Schab said. “I’m just going to go out and have fun.”

Schab’s change of attitude has served him and his team well.

The Huskies entered this week’s MHSAA District Tournament ranked No. 2 in Division 2, behind only Ottawa-Kent Conference Bronze rival Ada Forest Hills Eastern.

Schab, a two-time Lower Peninsula Division 2 all-state first team selection, has felt the pressure to produce low scores in recent years.

“The last couple years I’ve put too much weight on my shoulders to play well,” Schab said. “I’ve found that when I’m more focused on having a good time, like talking to my playing competitors, I end up playing better. This year has been fun.”

Schab has been a mainstay as the Huskies’ No. 1 golfer, but coach Brian Telzerow said his teammates have helped to ease the tension.

“He’s been the go-to guy so to speak and he’s always played in the No. 1 spot, but the nice thing about this year is all five guys who play can easily be the lowest score of the team,” he said. “Spencer doesn’t feel like he has to be the lowest guy, and so I think he is enjoying the game a little bit more because of that.”

Forest Hills Northern has a talented cast of seniors to accompany Schab in the top four. They include Phil Lodzinski, Chase Lebster and Brian McHale.

Josh Belfer is another senior, along with two freshmen.

The experience of the seniors has sparked the team’s success. It’s a group that has played together the past four years and has a strong bond on and off the course.

“That’s my favorite part about the team,” Schab said. “We’re all such good friends, and it makes the experience so much better for all of us because we’re a tight-knit group. We were friends before we were on the team, and being on the team has only strengthened our friendship.”

Lodzinski said the closeness among the seniors helps drive them to perform their best.

“We’re all best friends, and I think you try a little harder when you have friends on the team because you don’t want to let them down,” he said. “We have a good time together, and that makes it an enjoyable experience overall.”

The seniors played key roles in last year’s third-place finish at the Finals. They’re pulling together once again in an attempt to make a repeat trip.

“These seniors have played with each other for four years,” Telzerow said. “They know each other, they like each other and they have a good connection. They have a sense of we’re doing it for each other, just not for our own accomplishments.”

The ability to stay consistent also has been an important aspect, according to Lodzinski.

“We’ve had at least three or four scores in the 70s every tournament, and that comes with our maturity,” he said. “Compared to our freshman and sophomore years, we’re a lot better at managing ourselves on the course, and it’s led to better scoring and more consistency.”

All of the seniors recently graduated, and Schab said the stresses of the past few months have finally subsided. It has allowed time to focus solely on golf.

“I had a lot of extracurricular activities going on earlier in the year with AP exams and graduation, but it’s time to focus on practice and sharpening up for the postseason,” said Schab, who averaged 38.2 strokes for nine holes during the conference season. “Overall, I’m happy with how well I’m playing considering my shift in focus.”

Telzerow said Schab is starting to peak at the most important time of the spring.

“He’s starting to play better,” he said. “I think he did this last year where he kind of had a lull in the middle of the season and then really came on strong in the postseason. He shot 72 at the post-conference tournament and he’s the kind of guy that can go low very easily.”

The Huskies finished runner-up to conference champion Forest Hills Eastern. The two engaged in a competitive tussle throughout the season, and Telzerow hopes it pays off.
“We knew coming in that both of us had high-caliber players and we would be battling each other constantly,” he said. “And that happened. We both want to do well in Districts and Regionals. Our hope is to finish strong at the state tournament, but we recognize that you have to get there first.”

Districts begin today for the Huskies, and expectations are high. A lofty finish at the Finals would be a fitting ending to outstanding high school careers.

“Our whole goal is to win a state championship,” Lodzinski said. “We’re planning on working hard to make it to state and making a run at the championship.”

Dean Holzwarth covered primarily high school sports for the Grand Rapids Press and MLive for 16 years and more recently served as sports editor of the Ionia Sentinel and as a sports photojournalist for WZZM. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Allegan, Kent and Ottawa counties.

PHOTO: Forest Hills Northern's Spencer Schab follows through on a swing. (Photo courtesy of Forest Hills Northern yearbook staff.)

Performance of the Week: Rochester Adams' Peter Roehl

May 9, 2024

Peter Roehl headshotPeter Roehl ♦ Rochester Adams
Senior ♦ Golf

The reigning Lower Peninsula Division 1 individual champion is among those leading the chase again, and he shot a 2-under-par 68 at last Friday’s The Loop Classic at Forest Dunes in Roscommon to finish atop a strong field as Adams placed fourth with a 297. Roehl also had won The Loop as a junior and this time had three birdies and an eagle to clinch by one stroke.

Roehl’s two-day 140 at The Meadows at Grand Valley State to cap last season tied for the seventh-lowest 36-hole LPD1 or Class A Finals score since the tournament switched to two rounds in 1994. He followed Friday’s victory with another one-stroke win Monday at the Northstar Bank Tournament at Plum Hollow in Southfield, where he shot a 1-under 71. He’ll continue his career next season at Oakland University and is considering studying business and marketing

@mhsaasports ⛳️POW: Peter Roehl #golf #rochesteradams #letsgo #winner #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports ⛳️POW: Peter Roehl #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #breakingbad #chipotle #dietcoke #phone #tigerwoods #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

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Past 2023-24 Honorees

May 2: Lilah Smith, Richland Gull Lake soccer - Report
April 25:
Mason Mayne, Lawton track & field - Report
April 18:
Alli Wright, Jenison softball - Report
April 11:
Chloe Wishart, Trenton soccer - Report
March 28:
Jenna Maki, Ishpeming basketball - Report
March 22:
Jaremiah Palmer, Niles Brandywine basketball - Report
March 15:
Leah Hodge, North Farmington gymnastics - Report
March 8:
Darius Marines, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling - Report
March 1:
Rylee Smith, Zeeland West bowling - Report
Feb. 22:
Caleb Lewandowski, Traverse City West skiing - Report
Feb. 15:
Jadin Mix, Onaway basketball - Report
Feb. 8:
Onalee Wallis, Cadillac skiing - Report
Feb. 1:
Abbey DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek competitive cheer - Report
Jan. 25:
Ewan Todd, Riverview swimming - Report
Jan. 18:
Ashley Weller, Jackson Northwest basketball - Report
Jan. 11:
Michael Baldwin, Saginaw Arthur Hill wrestling - Report
Dec. 15:
Jena Fijolek, Fenton bowling - Report
Dec. 8:
Sophia Wagner, Escanaba gymnastics - Report
Dec. 1:
Isaiah Marshall, Southfield Arts & Technology football - Report
Nov. 24:
Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17:
Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10:
Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27:
Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20:
Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13:
Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5:
Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29:
MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22:
Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15:
Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8:
Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1:
Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report