High 5s - 4/17/12

April 17, 2012

Each week, Second Half gives "High 5s" to multiple athletes and a team that have performed exceptionally on the field or made a notable impact off of it.

Please offer your suggestions by e-mail to [email protected]. Below are this week's honorees:

Sarah Appold

Saginaw Valley Lutheran senior


Appold is putting the final touches on a career that places her among the best ever at Saginaw Valley Lutheran. She holds multiple Chargers strikeout records and appears three times in the MHSAA record book for strikeouts in a game -- her best of 15 in a 2010 contest is tied for fifth-best in MHSAA history. Appold is 2-0 this season with batters hitting just .098 against her. She's also earned all-state recognition for volleyball and basketball this school year.

Up next: Appold has signed to play softball at Saginaw Valley State University and intends to study nursing.

I learned the most about pitching from: "Probably my dad, Randy Appold. He was pitching coach up until my seventh grade year. And Doug Gillis (out of Wixom), my pitching coach now."

My favorite athletes are: Detroit Tigers Austin Jackson and Justin Verlander. "My parents always took me to Tigers games when I was little, and I like watching them."

Try to keep up: Although Appold has never pitched to her baseball-playing friends, a few have caught her. "I've had a lot of people since freshman year ask me to pitch against them, to see how they'd do. I think I'd handle myself against them. ... There's a lot of different movement (to softball pitches)."

Nick Stiles

Bath senior


Stiles is finishing up an all-state career for the Bees that included a trip to the Division 3 Semifinals in 2010. He's currently tied with former standout Brennan Powers for Bath's career pitching wins record with 33, enough to also get him on the MHSAA record book list in that category. Stiles is 2-0 this season and has yet to give up an earned run -- including over 10 innings Monday, although he didn't get a decision in either game that afternoon. He also plays center field.

Up next: Stiles said a few colleges said they'd like to watch him this season before offering a scholarship. Also his school's valedictorian, Stiles, has been accepted by Michigan State and could go there as a student only. He'd major in human biology with an eye on becoming an orthopedic surgeon -- which began to interest him after he suffered an ankle injury as a sophomore. He also might consider walking-on at MSU or playing on the club team.

My best pitch is: "My fastball. I've got the most control over it. I can put it pretty much anywhere I want."

I learned the most about pitching from:
"My 14-and-under baseball coach Dave Morena. He had a certain way of doing things, and he knew what he was talking about. He taught me pretty much everything I know."

I look up to: "Justin Verlander. He works fast. He does throw his fastball a lot too. He's confident in his other pitches, but he likes to go to his fastball."

My career highlight: "The state Semifinal run. Records are records, made to be broken and all of that nonsense. But the run of the team; we weren't expected to do it, and the whole town followed us. Even though we lost, it was a great experience."

Grand Rapids West Catholic boys golf

After falling just five strokes short of winning the Kent County Classic on April 12 at The Highlands (behind top-ranked Division 1 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central), West Catholic took on some of the state's top Division 2 and 3 teams the next day at Michigan State's Forest Akers East -- and edged reigning Division 2 champion DeWitt by a stroke with a 303 to win the Haslett Invitational.

The Forest Akers field including Division 2 Nos. 1 and 2 DeWitt and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, respectively, and Division 3 No. 1 Jackson Lumen Christi and No. 9 Hanover-Horton -- with West Catholic ranked No. 4 in Division 3 entering the tournament. Junior Sam Weatherhead was medalist at both the Kent County Classic and Haslett Invitational, shooting 68 and 69, respectively, to win by four and three strokes.

Bloomfield Hills JV Golfer Adds Rare Highlight to Strong Spring with Par-4 Hole-In-One

By Tom Lang
Special for MHSAA.com

May 24, 2024

Freshman Lucas Dostal was just aiming for a drive down the middle of the par-4 17th fairway.

Just seconds later, he finished the hole at Hudson Mills Metro Park in that one swing with the driver.

The Bloomfield Hills junior varsity player didn’t see from the tee his ace on the 329-yard hole drop in the cup, so the reaction was delayed – but still refreshing.

“I hit a draw, so the ball started right, then went left and it was kinda going toward the pin but it was too hard to see,” he said in an email. “The ground was firm, and there was some down wind.

“I didn’t see the ball at all go in, but once I realized it, I was in shock. It helped me shoot a really good 71, but I tripled bogeyed (4-putt) the last hole so that kinda ruined it.”

Spoken like a true competitive golfer.

That 71 was good for medalist at the tournament April 20 versus other JV teams like Detroit Catholic Central, Novi and Grand Blanc, and brought way more attention to his game than he’d like.

The program’s junior varsity coach David Lumsden, a North Hills middle school teacher, said a lot of people assumed he’d be bumped up to varsity very soon; even local media talked that way. After all, it was the first tournament of the season, and Dostal comes into the clubhouse with an albatross and a win.

Dostal, standing third from right, is joined by his team after they won the Ace & Bob Byerlein JV Tournament that day. “He is a good golfer, and the first thing I did was email the varsity coach and said I think this kid has got the goods to be on varsity,” Lumsden said. “We had purposefully left two varsity spots open because we have so many young kids who are good golfers; we didn’t know who to choose and left two spots (flexible). I suggested Lucas, but we agreed since he was a freshman to give him a couple more events and see how he does.

“I think he shot in the high 70s the next tournament and the 80s after that. And Lucas came to me after that and said, ‘Coach, can you put me on the B team?’ I think the pressure was getting to him being No. 1 on the A team. So, me and the varsity coach agreed he needs a year on JV to play in some more matches and tournaments and grow into that varsity position.”

The JV team went 9-0 this spring in dual meets and finished in the top 10 in five of six tournaments.

“He’s going to be a great golfer,” Lumsden said. “There’s no part of his game that is lacking. He’s got a great short game. Off the tee he’s amazing. And I’ve watched him make really great recovery shots with his irons. He’s going to be really good; we’re just taking it slow. Don’t want to put all this pressure on him and end up having him quit golf too early.

“Lucas is very mild-mannered. He doesn’t talk a lot. He loves golf and has a brother (Domonic) playing on the varsity team who’s really good too. They are both golf fanatics and love the game. It’s very enjoyable to watch him getting into it and getting used to being a good golfer and getting this kind of recognition. He’s not been bragging about anything, and he’s just a solid golfer.”

If Dostal does make varsity in 2025, he should be joining his brother for that one year together on the team.

“The awareness (of his game) is there,” Lumsden said. “He’s really got the temperament to be somebody that’s going to be a top golfer.

“Many of the top golfers in the state are here in Southeast Michigan, so he’s got a lot of good competition. He might be used to going out with his buddies and beating them by 10 strokes with no problem; now he’s going against kids who are just as good as he is, or better.

“And this is just JV golf. Once you go to varsity, those kids go really low.”

PHOTOS (Top) Bloomfield Hills’ Lucas Dostal shows the ball he drove into the hole next to him for a par-4 hole-in-one April 20 at Hudson Mills Metro Park. (Middle) Dostal, standing third from right, is joined by his team after they won the Ace & Bob Byerlein JV Tournament that day. (Photos courtesy of the Bloomfield Hills JV golf program.)