Seniors Carry Hancock to Finals Win

May 30, 2014

By Burt Angeli
Special to Second Half 

IRON RIVER — Hancock’s “senior moment” keyed another MHSAA U.P. boys golf championship Thursday at George Young Recreational Complex.

The Bulldogs, with four seniors playing big roles, retained the U.P. Division 2 crown with a dominating performance. Hancock tallied a 327 to down Norway and L’Anse, both at 346. 

The difference was one stroke between Hancock and Norway in last year’s U.P. tournament. L’Anse, which had one golfer take ill Wednesday, missed out on the second-place trophy after the tiebreaker.

“The kids played great today,” Hancock coach Joe Gervais said. “It was definitely, overall, a team effort. 

“All of the scores were pretty tight and close together, which is a testament to how hard these guys push each other in practice.”

Bulldogs filled four of the top scoring spots — junior Matt Sanregret (37 front nine) and Kyle Hauswirth (38 back nine) at 81, Tanner Kearly and William Lucier at 82. Senior Tony Fisher, fifth member of the Bulldogs, was also in the mix at 84. 

“Those four seniors are all good friends, and it’s made for a lot of good friendly competition amongst the team trying to get better,” Gervais said.

Hancock boys have produced four U.P. titles and a runner-up in the last five years. 

"I think we've been fortunate as a program to have a lot of kids that like to compete with each other and make good golf scores, get better at their games, and one through five we've had some pretty solid teams," Kearly said recently.

The short season due to the weather didn’t deter the Bulldogs’ determination. 

“The winter was tough on us and, in fairness, it was tough on all of the teams in the U.P.,” Gervais said. “Very few schools got to get out on the course very much before we had to start rolling into the season.”

Tristan Leaf of L’Anse retained medalist honors, leading the way with a six-over par 78. Norway’s Justin Anderson was next at 80. 

Ray Miron of L’Anse shared third with Sanregret. Max Maloney of West Iron County was among the group at 82.

Leaf overcame a double bogey on No. 8 and triple bogey on No. 17. 

“I just told myself if I stay away from that I should be OK,” Leaf said of his front nine difficulties. “I was playing pretty good and my putting was good. I just needed my iron shots to get down.

“My drives were OK, but they should have been better.” 

The senior, medalist last year and third two years ago, carded matching 39s for his round. He registered back-to-back birdies before the “triple” on No. 17.

The senior will take his game to Ferris State, where the future pharmacist hopes to make the team as a walk-on. 

“I’ll try and see what I can do,” Leaf said of attempting to crack the Ferris roster.

Norway’s Anderson also survived an early triple bogey to garner runner-up medalist. 

“Then I started making some pars with a birdie here and there,” Anderson said. “That got my confidence back.

“I made a lot of putts, and I was chipping pretty good.”

The junior had two rounds of 40. Knights Austin Hansen, 84, and Bryce Kelly, 85, also turned in solid scores. 

“I thought we played pretty well,” Norway Coach Ben Leiker said. “The conditions were great, and the weather was finally beautiful.

“Hancock is a veteran club. They’re a great team. We would have had to play our best match of the year to be able to beat them. We’re very happy with what happened.” 

Both Leaf and Anderson applauded the George Young course layout.

“Beautiful course conditions,” Leaf said. “The greens were slower than normal, but I like them.”

Noted Anderson, “They were pretty good if you keep it in the fairway and stay out of the woods.” 

Click for full results.

PHOTO: (Top) Norway's Austin Hansen watches a shot during Thursday's MHSAA U.P. Division 2 Final. (Middle) L'Anse's Tristan Leaf watches a shot on the way to finishing atop the individual standings. (Photos by Burt Angeli.)

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