Repeat Medalist Autore Leads as Islanders Start Next Championship Tradition

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 3, 2022

HYDE — The Cedarville girls golf team won the Upper Peninsula Division 3 championship last season, and DeTour took the top honor in 2017.

So it was only logical that the first-year cooperative program comprised of two schools would be a formidable favorite Thursday at Highland Golf Club.

True to expectation, Cedarville/DeTour fired a 420 to win by 43 strokes.

“I think we have a pretty good team,” said Islanders coach Jeff Autore. “We were defending champions from last year, and the girls played well all year. They worked and practiced hard.

“We’ve done well, and it started with the boys years ago. We’ve always had a good golf program. Once you get a tradition going, it draws players to your program. We also have a good junior high program. We have 14 kids there, too.”

Cedarville/DeTour golfThe Ontonagon girls took home the runner-up trophy, with Cooks Big Bay de Noc third. Ontonagon is a regular among the top two Finals finishers, most recently earning championships in 2018 and 2019.

“We’re very pleased with how everything went,” said Ontonagon coach Brady Guilbault. “We knew the Cedarville/DeTour girls would be tough.

“It’s a short season up here. We were waiting for the snow to melt and cold weather to go away. It was hard to get on the course. We were hitting a lot of foam balls in the school.”

Islanders senior Zoe Autore repeated as medalist, shooting a 99 and edging North Central senior Sarah Snyder by a single stroke. Cedarville/DeTour’s Lily Plowman took third with 104.

“Last year there was no pressure,” said Zoe Autore, who plans to continue her golf career at Albion College. “This year there was more pressure. It got kind of nerve-wracking at times. My drives were a little better today, but the course was wet and muddy. It probably wasn’t the way they wanted it to be. I didn’t get any roll (with the ball) – although it worked out good overall.”

This marked the first full round all year for Snyder, who played with a torn right ACL and will attend Northwest Wisconsin Technical School in Green Bay this fall.

“I just tried my best,” she said. “Even though this my first time golfing a full round this year, I didn’t let that affect me. I just tried to focus on my game and keeping the ball straight.”

Taylor Williams finished fourth individually, and Hayley Kohlman was sixth to round out

Cedarville/DeTour’s scoring. Madyson Pantti finished fifth to lead three top-10 individuals for runner-up Ontonagon. Macy Peterson was eighth individually as low scorer for Big Bay.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Cedarville/DeTour's Zoe Autore sends an approach during Thursday’s UPD3 Final at Highland Golf Club. (Middle) The Islanders hold up their championship trophy after winning by 43 strokes. (Photos by Todd Rose.)

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