Team of the Month: Houghton Boys Golf

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

June 24, 2022

The Houghton boys golf team won its 10th Finals championship this season, and sixth Upper Peninsula Division 1 title over the last 10 seasons. Two of those other four seasons, the Gremlins finished runners-up. With a run like that, more success isn't going to surprise anyone.

But this spring’s team exceeded expectations.

The outdoor portion of Houghton’s boys golf season lasted about five weeks. The Gremlins’ home course, Portage Lake, opened May 9, and the team’s first outdoor practice was that day. But by June 1, the Gremlins were shooting in the 320s as a team and clinching another Division 1 title – earning the MHSAA/Applebee’s “Team of the Month” honor for May with that first day of June an exclamation mark on another fantastic season.

“Some of our other teams have had more golf talent. But these guys have worked hard and gotten better and better and kept improving and exceeded expectations a little bit,” said Houghton coach Corey Markham, who also leads the perennially state-contending hockey program. “It’s an awesome group.”

After finishing UPD1 runner-up and five strokes back of champion Marquette in 2021, Houghton took back the top spot this time shooting a 329 at Sage Run to edge Marquette by five strokes. Sophomore Marino Pisani (78) and junior Camden Markham (83) finished second and tied for eighth, respectively, in the individual standings. Juniors Cooper Leonard (84) and Ryan Schmierer (84), and senior Ryan Vlahos (85) – who also was back from the 2021 group – rounded out the winning lineup.

Corey Markham noted how his three returnees helped the lineup find more consistency this season. Marino dropping his scores into the 70s also was a big plus. “He puts in the most time and just lives golf,” Markham said.

Boys golf teams in Michigan could begin practice March 14 and competition March 21. The Upper Peninsula as a whole, due to winter weather, generally gets going later – but Markham said teams in the southern U.P. have even a two or three-week head start on those at the northern tip of the peninsula.

Markham called what his team can do with practice over that first month “minimal” – for obvious reasons – and also as it shares indoor space with the softball and baseball teams also waiting for the weather to turn. The golf team does some work on rules and with video, and uses a simulator to bring back some of the muscle memory from the previous summer.

The Gremlins played in two tournaments during the last week of April – nearly two weeks before that first outdoor practice. They finished third in both of those events and in another May 10 the day after they’d finally gotten outside. But soon after the run started, and Houghton clinched the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference championship on the way to finishing with another Finals title.

“Our biggest success is due to our junior program at our golf course,” Markham said. “You get kids out, and they play a lot in the summer. Their basics and their background are the reasons they’re able to step in and start doing well with a short season.”

Past Teams of the Month, 2021-22 

April: Plainwell girls soccer - Read
West Bloomfield girls basketball - Read
Cadillac girls skiing - Read
Hartland hockey - Read
Midland Dow girls basketball - Read
Reese girls volleyball - Read
Birmingham Groves boys tennis - Read

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