Ontonagon, Chassell Ace Rise in UPD3

By John Vrancic
Special for MHSAA.com

June 1, 2018

GLADSTONE — Sometimes it pays for golfers to have short memories.

After struggling in Wednesday’s practice round at Irish Oaks Golf Course, Marli Hietila shook that off in time to earn medalist honors at Thursday’s Upper Peninsula Division 3 Golf Finals.

The Chassell junior shot 88 for her first U.P. title on this warm and humid day, which included a brief downpour. 

“My driver helped me a lot today, and my chipping was good,” she said. “I had a couple rough holes, but it turned out pretty good. The downpour made it exciting. We were just starting a hole when it started pouring. The weather conditions could have been better, although it wasn’t too bad. I would have preferred to have it a little cooler.”

Ontonagon captured its first title in seven years with 433 strokes, followed by Crystal Falls Forest Park at 442, Big Bay de Noc 479, Cedarville 498 and Pickford with 501.

“We knew Forest Park would be one of the frontrunners,” said first-year Ontonagon coach Adam Spaulding. “They have their competition and good facilities in their area. Our girls are real good about helping each other out. They played very well today.”

Last year’s champion, Cedarville sophomore Lily Freel, was runner-up this time at 90. 

“I definitely didn’t play how I thought I would,” said Freel. “My practice round went real well. I know I can play like that, which makes this pretty disappointing. My shots weren’t as solid as I hoped, and I really struggled reading the greens and misjudged distances. My putting also let me down. Golf is so unpredictable. I consistently shot in the low 80s all year, but didn’t do it on the day it really counted.”

Freel was followed by Powers North Central junior Jadie Linder at 95. 

“This was the best I played all year,” said Linder. “My drives went real well, and my putting was better than usual. I didn’t have any expectations coming in and played pretty relaxed. Last year I took sixth in the Finals. I improved a lot from last year.”

Ontonagon’s leader was sophomore Hallie Bobula, who shot 103 and edged Carney-Nadeau eighth-grader Tessa Wagner on a tie-breaker for fourth place.

Also placing in the top 10 individually were Carney-Nadeau senior Breanna Bedgood at 104, Mackinac Island sophomore McKenna Horricks at 105, Ontonagon senior Kinsey Weisinger 106 and Forest Park senior Alina Soha and Rock Mid Peninsula eighth-grader Shaelyn Lampinen both firing 107.

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PHOTOS: (Top) Ontonagon’s Izabelle Lutz executes a chip Thursday at the U.P. Division 3 Golf Finals at Gladstone’s Irish Oaks Golf Course. (Middle) Chassell’s Marli Hietila shot 88 to capture girls medalist honors. (Photos by Mike Mattson.)

Lacrosse Finals Move to U-M Among Headlines as Spring Sports Ramp Up

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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