Standouts Lead Mountaineers to D2 Peak

By John Vrancic
Special for

May 29, 2013

NORWAY — There was no question the individual winner was going to be from Iron Mountain High School at the end of Wednesday's MHSAA Upper Peninsula Division 2 Girls Golf Final.

It was just a matter of which one.

Senior Katelynn Johnson and sophomore Cassie Feira shared the lead after 18 holes with 96 strokes apiece at Oak Crest Golf Course, forcing a sudden-death playoff hole on this sunny and warm day.

Johnson then became the overall winner by edging Feira on the first playoff hole.

"In my 15 years of coaching, that's the first time I've seen this happen," Iron Mountain coach Don Bianco said. "This was very unique. To have this happen was very special. Both girls played well. Katelynn just had better luck getting out of the sand trap during the playoff hole."

The Mountaineers also were crowned team champions for the first time since 2004 with 421 strokes. They were followed by Ironwood with 458 and Manistique at 466.

"The girls really deserve this," Bianco said. "This is a tough group of kids. They're willing to practice in all conditions. Plus, if they have one bad hole, they move on and grind it out."

This marked the first U.P. title for Johnson, who also was crowned Mid-Peninsula Conference champion last week and found being in a playoff with her teammate to be quite interesting and nerve-wracking.

"The pressure was on," said Johnson, who will attend Northern Michigan University this fall to major in nursing. "I couldn't have put the ball on the tee at first. I was so nervous. I was just shaking and everybody was watching. I don't think I have ever been that nervous in my life.

“I had a pretty decent drive, then both of us ended up in a sand trap and it took me two shots to get out. It was a relief to get out of there. After that I wasn't shaking anymore."

Once out of the sand trap, Johnson two-putted for the win.

"It was very nerve-wracking," Feira said. "I felt she should win because she's a senior. This the first time I shot under 100. I was happy to break that. I thought the back nine was easier than the front nine. I ended up in sand traps a lot in the front nine.

“As a team, we practiced a lot last week on chipping and putting, which are things I needed to work on. We also played 18 holes a few times and that helped a lot. The weather was better today, too. We didn't have to wear all the layers we did last week."

Feira's thoughts on playing extra rounds at Oak Crest were similar to Bianco's.

"I think coming here a couple times last week enabled the girls to get more comfortable with the course," he said. "Having a strong senior group also helped."

Alyssa Norback of L'Anse placed third at 97. She was followed by Ironwood senior Korrie Trier at 100 and Norway senior Shelby Matonich at 104.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS: (Top) Iron Mountain's Katelynn Johnson studies a putt during Wednesday's U.P. Division 2 Final; she won the individual championship in a one-hole playoff. (Middle) Norway's Paige Sheski tees off during her round at Oak Crest Golf Course. (Photos by Theresa Proudfit.)

Potent Pair Lead Cedarville/DeTour Girls to Repeat; Ontonagon Ace Paces Field

By Jason Juno
Special for

June 1, 2023

HYDE – Cedarville and DeTour have been golfing together for just two years as a co-op – and they already have two Upper Peninsula Girls Golf Finals titles.

The Islanders repeated in Division 3 with a score of 420 on Thursday at Highland Golf Club near Escanaba. That was eight strokes better than runner-up Big Bay de Noc and 16 fewer than third-place Ontonagon.

“It’s nice,” Islanders coach Jeff Autore said. “These girls worked hard. They knew they had a chance to be defending champions. We knew we had a pretty good chance coming in. This was our goal. The girls knew it, they were determined. This is why we practice in the rain and in the snow and in the cold.

Ontonagon’s Emmy Bobula tees off during her championship round.“We expected this and we worked hard for this, and they deserve it.”

For Hayley Kohlmann, who shot a 94, and Taylor Williams, who carded a 107, it was their third-straight team title. Cedarville also won as a standalone team in 2021. 

“They’ve had a pretty good run,” Autore said. “And then we co-opped with DeTour, and Lily Plowman has been our best player all year long. She finished in the top five last year.”

Plowman also shot a 94 on Thursday. She and Kohlmann were two of just three golfers in the field to shoot under 100.

The other was medalist Emmy Bobula of Ontonagon; she shot a 90. All three were over 100 at last year’s Final, held at the same course.

Bobula shot a 113 last year.

“So I really improved this season a lot,” she said. “It was crazy, that was my PR (personal record), so yeah, pretty bonkers.”

It was definitely a good time for such a good performance. She likes playing in tournaments and doesn’t get nervous for them. There’s no bigger tournament than this one for U.P. high school golfers.

Mackinac Island’s Isabella Nitzschke hits out of a tough spot beside a tree. “It’s crazy, it’s kind of surreal,” Bobula said. “I shed a few tears because it’s my senior season. It feels pretty good.”

Her coach Jim Jessup said Bobula wanted to have a big year – and she did.

“She’s a senior, she had drive, she wanted to do things this year and she did them,” Jessup said.

It all started for her Thursday off the tee.

“Probably my drives really saved me,” she said. “I had good drives today, which is probably the best thing and chipping, I did pretty well in chipping today actually.”

Ontonagon’s Madyson Pantti shot a 102 and Camryn Pederson of Big Bay de Noc a 105.

Click for full results.

PHOTOS (Top) Cedarville/DeTour’s Lily Plowman hits out of the sand during Thursday’s UPD3 Final. (Middle) Ontonagon’s Emmy Bobula tees off during her championship round. (Below) Mackinac Island’s Isabella Nitzschke hits out of a tough spot beside a tree. (Photos by Jason Juno.)