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.”

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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.)

Mid Peninsula's Boys Sweep UPD3 Titles, Including 1st Team Championship

By Jason Juno
Special for MHSAA.com

June 1, 2023

HYDE – The Rock Mid Peninsula boys won their first Upper Peninsula Finals boys golf championship Thursday, earning it in Division 3 at Highland Golf Club near Escanaba.

The Wolverines finished with a score of 324, 13 strokes fewer than runner-up Ontonagon.

“It’s the first time in school history for us, so we’re pretty excited about it,” Mid Pen coach Earlene VanDamme said. “The kids put a lot of work into this year.”

They did it with three golfers among the individual top five, led by medalist Bradly VanDamme, who shot a 77, and tournament runner-up Michael Englund, who carded a 78. Christian VanDamme was close behind with an 81, which was good for a fifth-place tie.

Big Bay de Noc’s Nick Desjarden watches a tee shot at Highland Golf Club. The three golfers have shot consistently around 80 all year. 

“Our top three boys were pretty equivalent. They were within one or two strokes of each other,” Coach VanDamme said. “I kept messing with the order. It didn’t matter where I put them, it always ended up that they were just all always kind of consistent.”

Bradly VanDamme said he has been shooting consistently in the 80s. He shot an 80 here during a practice round. 

“So a 77 today was huge,” he said. “I never expected to play as good as I did today.”

Fixing a key part of his game helped.

“I got off the tee well; usually that’s my struggle,” VanDamme said. “But every tee, I just thought, if I can keep this one in play and keep it in the fairway, then this course is pretty easy if you can keep it in the fairway.”

He said he was happiest about the team title.

“It’s great. All the guys are really excited. That was our goal coming into this – we didn’t care how we all individually placed, we just wanted to win as a team,” he said.

Watersmeet’s Edmond Williams putts during his round.That’s the way team leaders think.

“Bradly is a strong leader for the team,” Coach VanDamme said. “He continuously is just prepping the team, saying, ‘Come on guys, this is about the team score. We all need to do this.’”

His brother Christian VanDamme was just four strokes behind him.

“It helps that (Bradly’s) brother is on the team because he is very competitive with him,” said Coach VanDamme, who also is Bradly and Christian’s mother. “And they put a lot of extra practice in trying to better themselves, so they do practice a lot.”

Ontonagon was team runner-up for the second year in a row.

The Gladiators were led by Abi Pestka, who finished in third place and shot an 80, and Jerry Majurin, who tied Christian VanDamme with an 81.

“That’s the best the boys have done as a group,” Ontonagon coach Jim Jessup said. “Everybody was fairly close in terms of their scores.”

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PHOTOS (Top) Rock Mid Peninsula celebrates its first UP Finals championship in boys golf Thursday. (Middle) Big Bay de Noc’s Nick Desjarden watches a tee shot at Highland Golf Club. (Below) Watersmeet’s Edmond Williams putts during his round. (Photos by Jason Juno.)