Brown, Bark River-Harris Repeat in UPD3

By John Vrancic
Special for

May 28, 2015

ESCANABA — St. Ignace High School was represented by just one golfer at Thursday’s Upper Peninsula Division 3 Girls Final. 

Senior Margo Brown, however, represented her school admirably by earning medalist honors with an 83 at the Escanaba Country Club.

“It’s a beautiful day,” said Brown, who will play basketball at Ferris State University next winter. “It was a little windy, but it wasn’t that big a thing. I like this course. It’s pretty open and it’s in pretty good shape. I think the rain we got last (Wednesday) night helped a little.” 

This marked the third consecutive year Brown was crowned individual champion. She also won Division 3 in 2013 and captured the Division 2 title a year ago.

Bark River-Harris retained its team title with 439 strokes. Crystal Falls Forest Park went home with the runner-up trophy for the second straight year with 457, and third-place Engadine had 464 on this sunny and mild day. 

“That’s a very tough task, especially in D-3 with so many good teams,” said BR-H coach Scott Farnsworth. “All of the girls improved through the season. They put a lot of time and effort into their game. I don’t put any pressure on the kids. I just stress working hard in practice. Many of the girls play during the summer. For the most part, they know and understand the game. They do the work. I just offer them guidance.”

Forest Park coach Harold Payne was pleased with the runner-up finish. 

“This was absolutely a solid performance by our girls,” he said. “I’m very proud of their performance today. We have one senior who has played for a year. Our junior (Annie Taylor) who placed fifth today means a lot to our team. She keeps improving every year and our two freshmen have come a long way. Both of our freshmen hadn’t played much golf before this year. We’re very pleased, especially for having only four girls. All of them did what they were supposed to do. Our (Skyline Central) conference represents itself well.”

BR-H junior Hannah Starnes and DeTour sophomore Madison Wilke shared the individual runner-up spot at 92.

Brown stated with a double-bogey on No. 1 and finished with a 43 on the front nine. She followed with 40 on the back. 

“When you have a bad hole, you’ve got to shake it off and do better on the next hole,” she said. “My irons were pretty good. My drives were decent, and I started making good putts. On the back nine I was ready to go. Number 10 was a pretty good hole. After Number 10, I knew I was going to have a pretty good back nine.” 

Starnes improved by two strokes from a year ago on this course.

“The first nine holes were pretty rough, but the back nine went better,” she said. “My swing felt a lot smoother once I got into a rhythm. My second shot got better this year. I struggled with my woods last year, but I worked on that extensively and feel more comfortable with my whole game.”

Wilke added a stroke to last year’s score. 

“I had a lot of bad shots,” said Wilke. “It was a lot of different things at different times, although I’m pleased to come out of here as a runner-up. I think everyone was nervous today.”

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) St. Ignace's Margo Brown watches a shot on hole No. 6 at Escanaba Country Club on Thursday. (Middle) Bark River-Harris' Hannah Starnes sizes up a shot on No. 3. (Photos by Keith Shelton.)

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