Banner Day For Lutheran North Golfers

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

October 15, 2022

EAST LANSING - With his team tied with Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood after the first round of the MHSAA Division 3 Girls Golf Finals, Macomb Lutheran North coach Alex Schlump didn’t need to deliver a big pep talk to his team going into the second and last day.

Instead, it was just a simple message he’s preached to his team all year.

“The focus was to play your own game,” Schlump said of what he told his girls. “We had to be mentally stronger than everybody else and we knew we were. That’s been our strength all season long, whether it’s been playing in the rain or playing in 40-degree weather.”

That mental strength was the difference for Lutheran North, which captured its first state title since 2017 on a chilly and windy day at Forest Akers East.

After Cranbrook and Lutheran North shot identical scores of 336 on the first day, Lutheran North was six shots better on the second day, shooting a 332 to finish with a final total of 668. 

Cranbrook finished as the runner-up with a final score of 674, while Grosse Ile, which entered the day three shots back, took third with a 677.

Grand Rapids South Christian (682) and Grand Rapids Catholic Central (695) rounded out the top-5.

Leading the way for Lutheran North was junior Lauren Timpf, who followed up a first round score of 70 with a 72 in the second round to finish as the medalist with a 2-under par score of 142. 

“I have played this course many times, and just coming into the week, I tried to give myself as many birdie opportunities as I could,” Timpf said. “Just take advantage of the short par-5 and getting there in two. Just really playing aggressive to get those birdie opportunities.”

Flanking Timpf was sophomore Saige Rothey, who tied for 13th with a two-day total of 163 (78-85). 

Grosse Ile senior Lily Bargamian was the individual runner-up, finishing seven shots behind Timpf with a 149 (75-74). 

Charlotte senior Hannah Robinson was third with a 150 (75-75), while Grand Rapids Catholic Central sophomore Ava Wisinski and Grand Rapids Christian freshman Lillian O’Grady tied for fourth at 153. 

The highest finisher for runner-up Cranbrook was junior Mackenzie Behnke, who tied for ninth at 160. 

Cranbrook was the defending state champion, but head coach John Minnich wasn’t unhappy at all to at least come away with a runner-up trophy given he called it a rebuilding year for his squad with no seniors.

“We play in the same conference in the Catholic League that Lutheran North plays in, and we’ve played them several times this year,” Minnich said. “Every match and every tournament we’ve played with them has been neck-and-neck. To be honest, they’ve had more firepower than we’ve had all year. Our players were more consistent though. We didn’t make the big numbers. We didn’t avoid them this tournament. We made a few too many big numbers.”

In the end, that proved costly for a Lutheran North team that beat out several larger schools to win the Macomb County championship earlier in the year, and now has another state championship trophy to add to its case. 

“We knew we had so many good players and talent coming back,” Schlump said. “We have a team that’s mentally strong,” he said. “That is something we knew we could do with the group of girls we had.

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PHOTOS (Top) Lauren Timpf wins her second consecutive MHSAA medalist honors. (Middle) Division 3 team champions, Macomb Lutheran North. (Photos by James Traynor.)

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