Good to Great, to Miss Golf Candidate

October 7, 2012

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

A seventh grader at the time, Jacqueline Setas followed DeWitt’s Liz Nagel through newspaper articles as the Panthers standout played her way to the 2008 Miss Golf Award.

Nagel is considered perhaps the best ever to come from the Lansing area. But the same is being said now of the Lansing Catholic junior's potential.

Setas has accomplishments to earn to match Nagel, but is off to a strong start with two Division 4 all-state selections. And this summer, Setas found herself finishing second only to Nagel in the stroke play of the Michigan Women’s Amateur – and then matching Nagel by making the semifinals of the match play.

It was a tremendous performance during an excellent summer, and further set the table for the high expectations Setas is making good on this fall.

“It’s crazy to be mentioned in the same breath as her,” Setas said of Nagel. “I feel like this summer, I was playing really well. I feel my game was up there with (the best) too.”

A Second Half High 5 recipient this week, Setas has won five tournaments this season and finished second twice as the two-time MHSAA Division 4 champion Cougars have loaded their schedule with the best from all over the state. She’s averaging 74.3 strokes for 18 holes and 35.9 for nine-hole matches, and last week fired a 68 to win the Capital Area Activities Conference White championship at Wheatfield Valley.

Setas’ most impressive win likely came at the East Lansing Invitational at Walnut Hills Country Club, where she grew up winning junior club championships. She shot a 70 to finish five strokes better than a field that included returning all-state Super Team selection Hannah Pietila of Brighton.

Setas’ runner-up finishes were nearly as impressive as her wins – she shot a 72 at Milford’s Heather Highlands Shootout to finish second to Plymouth Super Team selection Kelsey Murphy, and shot a 76 to finish two strokes behind Muskegon Catholic Central all-stater Aya Johnson at Birmingham Country Club.

Setas shot 39 or better in all seven of her team’s nine-hole matches, finishing first at all but one and shooting lows of 30 and 33.

She is one of an impressive crew of golf talents in the Lansing area this fall: Okemos’ Elle Nichols, like Murphy, also is a returning Super Team selection, and Holt’s Pader Her and Lansing Catholic teammates Dani Crilley and Janie Fineis all can go toe-to-toe with the best in the state.

“Our top three have played incredibly consistent golf, and they’ve had a great run,” Cougars coach Mary Schafer said. “It’s that mixture of athletic ability, loving the sport and wanting to get better. They can have a ton of natural athletic ability, but they don’t reach their potential because they don’t work at it hard enough. If they’re prepared, keep working at it, and work at getting better, they go from being really good to great.”

And in Schafer’s mind, that describes Setas’ progression exactly.

Setas isn’t just a golfer. She plays wing on the basketball team and centerfield in the spring. But break down her golf game, and it’s easy to understand why she’s considered a natural at her favorite sport.

She drives the ball 260 yards, about 15 more than a year ago, and with a sharp short game to match. Her course management also has improved this fall, and her mentality is just right. “Bad bounces, they don’t last long with her,” Schafer said.

But Setas sees her success as a result of something more. She played every day from May into the beginning of high school season, and in tournaments all but two weekends this summer.

“Probably (it's) just the dedication that I’ve put in throughout the years,” Setas said. “People think it’s natural talent, and some of it is. But most of it is the hard work I’ve put in throughout the year.”

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