Manistique Pair Power UPD2 Medalist Push, Munising Rises as Top Team

By Jason Juno
Special for

June 1, 2022

IRON RIVER  Manistique’s Macy Green was a really good softball player before she switched to golf full time just last year.

Teammate Nora Cunningham has been playing for a couple of years, and she won a few tournaments this season.

“And they’ve been highly competitive with each other all year,” their coach, Tim Noble, said.

The juniors carried that friendly competition through to the Upper Peninsula Division 2 Final at Young’s Golf Course on Wednesday. They were within a stroke of each other – at the top of the leaderboard. Green was medalist with a 102, and Cunningham shot a 103 to tie for second with Bark River-Harris’ Hannah Larson.

Cunningham said her back nine was OK, but she struggled on the front. “So that was a bummer, but I’m happy that Macy did what she did,” she said. “She really pulled through and did great.”

Green golfed with the No. 2 golfers, and she didn’t expect to win from there.

“It’s kind of shocking, honestly,” she said. 

Manistique golfShe said she improved a lot this year, and the same was true of her day Wednesday.

“I struggled a lot with drives the first nine holes, but in the back, I improved a lot. I think that’s what helped,” Green said.

Ceara LaBlanc of Brimley was fourth with a 106, and Pickford’s Isa Franklin was fifth with a 107. 

The Munising girls won the team title with a score of 454. West Iron County was second at 469.

Logan Peters led the Mustangs with a 108, which was good for seventh overall.

Munising has four seniors who have been playing since they were freshmen.

“They’ve been improving year by year,” Munising coach Bette Immel said. “This year they wanted to come out and win it. We came in second place last year. So they thought now with senior leadership we would be able to do it, and we were fortunate to be able to come out today with the win.”

The sun and perfectly blue skies were a constant on the challenging course Wednesday.

“It was extremely long,” Immel said. “The greens were freshly cut this morning, so the kids said it was hard to land a ball on them, and putting was real tough. A little windy but not too bad. But definitely the putting was the difference today, I believe.”

Cunningham wasn’t arguing about the greens.

“The greens are very hard to get used to,” she said. “And there’s woods, and there’s water. But the greens are definitely one of the most challenging of the courses that we played this year.”

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PHOTOS (Top) Munising’s Jenna Matson tees off on the first hole during Wednesday’s U.P. Division 2 Final at Young’s Golf Course. (Middle) Manistique’s Macy Green tees off at No. 17 on the way to winning the individual championship. (Photos by Jason Juno.)

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