Timing Just Right for D2-Winning Cranes

June 7, 2014

By Mark Meyer
Special to Second Half

EAST LANSING – Timing. So critical for a successful golf swing, even moreso for a boys golf team trying to win its second MHSAA title in three years.

Everything came together this weekend about as well as it could for Bloomfield Hill Cranbrook-Kingswood, as the Cranes fashioned a two-day total of 618 to win the Lower Peninsula Division 2 championship by five shots over Ada Forest Hills Eastern (623) at Forest Akers West.

Junior Dylan Deogun led Cranbrook-Kingswood with rounds 72 and 75, which placed him third individually behind senior medalist Austin Carter of Croswell-Lexington (72-72-144) and junior runner-up Nick Carlson of Hamilton (75-71-146).

“We’ve been targeting this all year – it’s been a growing and learning process,” said second-year Cranes coach John Minnich. “Each time we played an event earlier this season, we never had four really good scores.

“As the season progressed, the guys started shooting good tournament scores. We finally put it together at the Regional where we had our best score of the year. It was one of those things where we were able to target and peak at the right time. We have only senior, so we hope to be back again next year with a strong team.”

Dylan’s younger brother, freshman Devin Deogun, shot the Cranes’ low score of the day, 74 – eight shots better than his opening round Friday. Juniors Todd Fridline (76-80-156) and Mason Schultz (79-81-160) earned praise from Minnich for not letting some tough early holes take their toll on day two.

“I’m very proud of the way we kept it together out there,” Minnich said. “We had some early bogeys and the round could have gone the wrong way really quick. But I told the guys it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon.

“Both Todd Fridline (80) and Mason Schultz (81) brought it home for us, playing the last five or six holes in even par. That was key for us.”

Dylan Deogun wasn’t thrilled with his round but did mention a couple of key shots of his own.

“Birdies at 12 and 14 were big, but I gave them away with bogeys at 17 and 18,” Deogun said. “But overall, (I’m) pretty happy with the way I played.

“Last year (finishing third) was a disappointment for us, so it’s good to be back at the top again.”

Dearborn Divine Child (624) finished third, one stroke behind Forest Hills Eastern. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (626), Grand Rapids Christian (629) and Marshall (637) completed the top six while DeWitt (640), East Lansing (646), Pontiac Notre Dame Prep and Detroit Country Day tied for ninth at 647.

Tyler Olson of New Boston Huron (73-75-148), Rishi Patel of Country Day (74-74-148) and Zach Robbins of Forest Hills Eastern (73-75) tied for fourth individually, ahead of East Lansing’s Joe Croom (76-73-149) and Grand Rapids Christian’s Ben Van Scoyk (79-72-151). A fivesome tied for ninth at 152: Campbell Crosby of East Grand Rapids (76-76), Zach Rosendale of St. Johns (76-76), Brandon Hawkins of Marshall (78-74), Tristan Brunst of Mason (73-79) and Geoff Croley of DeWitt (74-78).

“The guys are really happy,” said Minnich, the head pro at Indianwood Golf and Country Club. “It’s a great way to end the season, playing well in beautiful weather – after having gone through a wet, cold spring.

“And they learned how to keep the big number off the card. That’s something we’ve talked about all year. Bogeys won’t hurt you, but you can’t make triples and a bunch of doubles. Our course management – making smart shots instead of gambling – made a big difference for us.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood poses with its MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 2 trophy at Forest Akers West. (Middle) Croswell-Lexington’s Austin Carter clears his ball from under a tree on the way to taking the individual championship. (Click to see more at HighSchoolsSportsScene.com.)

Saline's Williams-Hoak Named National Coach of the Year by LPGA Professionals

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

September 20, 2022

The LPGA Professionals have named Saline High School golf coach Debbie Williams-Hoak as its national Coach of the Year.

Williams-Hoak was among national award winners who were selected by the LPGA Professionals’ executive committee from a pool of Section Award winners, which were voted on by officers of those regional sections.

More on the award from LPGA Professionals:

The LPGA Professionals Coach of the Year Award was established in 1980 and is awarded annually to an LPGA Professionals member who is actively engaged in teaching and/or coaching golf at the collegiate or high school level.

LPGA Professionals Class A member Debbie Williams-Hoak knows what it takes to compete at the highest levels. She is a former LPGA Tour Player and track & field athlete who represented U.S. Track & Field in Russia and West Germany. She is a four-time Big Ten Champion, a member of the Ohio Track & Field Hall of Fame, University of Michigan Women’s Track Hall of Fame member and a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame as a player, coach and teaching professional. This year, she is being inducted into the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor.

Having been a multi-sport athlete accustomed to competing at the highest level, Williams-Hoak brings something unique to her coaching style. She has successfully coached boys and girls golf for the past 16 years at Saline High School in Saline, Michigan, and currently is serving as the first female president of the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association. Williams-Hoak feels proud that every girl on her team shot career lows while maintaining 100-percent academic eligibility this season, while her boys team placed second in the conference championship and qualified for its second-straight state Finals appearance.

She is dedicated to instilling a lifelong love of the game while empowering students through golf and hopes her example will pave the way for other women coaches to lead as well.

Williams-Hoak received the 2017 Sandy LaBauve Spirit Award, the most coveted honor bestowed by LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, for her continued dedication and passion for empowering girls through golf.  She was honored with the Midwest Youth Leader of the Year and Goldie Bateson Award two times, in addition to numerous recognitions as Coach of the Year from Saline High School.

She is deeply involved with the LPGA Professionals organization, which she currently serves as the LPGA Midwest Secretary since 2021. She has been site director for LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Greater Washtenaw Country since 2015 and acted as an advisor for the Site Director Certification program in 2021. From 2018-2021, she worked as an expert committee member for LPGA*USGA Girls Golf.  She also coached at the LPGA Leadership Academies in Michigan over the last two years.

"I am extremely humbled by this award, as there are so many outstanding LPGA coaches in our association. What an honor to represent the LPGA, the state of Michigan and the game of golf as a coach,” said Williams-Hoak. “It is a privilege to work with so many wonderful players who make coaching so rewarding. I am also fortunate to have such great fellow coaches in Michigan and throughout the LPGA. Thank you so much for this very special recognition."

PHOTO: Saline golf coach Debbie Williams-Hoak, far left, stands for the trophy shot with her girls team after the Hornets won the 2016 Lower Peninsula Division 1 championship. (MHSAA file photo)