High 5s - 6/19/12

June 21, 2012

The final High 5s of 2011-12 go to a pair of Ishpeming Westwood golfers who led their team to a rare feat of four straight Finals championships, and perhaps the most unexpected team champion of the spring season -- the Dansville softball team, which downed reigning champion Petersburg-Summerfield in the Division 4 championship game.

Berkley LaFreniere
Ishpeming Westwood senior

LaFreniere completed her fourth and final season on the Westwood golf team this spring by helping the Patriots to a fourth-straight MHSAA title. She shot a 90 to finish individual runner-up at the Division 2 Final to teammate Megan Manninen. LaFreniere also was a forward on the basketball team and played No. 1 doubles for the tennis team that ended the fall with a third-straight Upper Peninsula Division 2 championship. Three of the golf titles were in Division 2, while the 2010 championship came in Division 1.

Winning ways: "It takes a lot of practice. Obviously the time you put in is what gets you the best results. But I also think it's about having fun."

I learned the most about golf from: "My dad (Paul) is a big golfer. We've had a membership at Wawonowin (Country Club) since I was really little. I would say maybe 10 years old (is when I started), maybe even younger."

If I could play with three others: "Rory (McIlroy) from the PGA, Tiger Woods just because he's the best known, and probably Jack Nicklaus. I just always hear about him when I'm watching golf. They always compare things to him."

Up next: LaFreniere will attend the University of Michigan and study one of the sciences, perhaps biochemistry, on the way to becoming a pediatric oncologist. "When they find a cure for cancer, I want to be part of that."

(Click to read more.)

Megan Manninen
Ishpeming Westwood senior

Manninen, with LaFreniere, also completed her fourth and final season on the Westwood golf team as part of the Patriots' fourth-straight MHSAA Upper Peninsula Finals winner. Manninen shot an 87 to also win her second-straight and third total UP Division 2 individual championship. A point guard on the basketball team, she'll signed to play hoops this fall at Lake Superior State University.

I learned the most about golf from: "My dad (Kevin Manninen). He's the manager of Wawonowin Country Club and was the manager as Marquette Golf Course. He played at Oakland University and in a couple of U.S. Open qualifiers."

If I could play with three others: "My dad, Jame (Reichardt, her uncle who died May 14) and my grandpa (Harold Reichardt)."

My favorite golfer to watch: "Rory McIlroy. I enjoyed watching him last year in the U.S. Open. He was new, and he was trying to win for his dad because it was Father's Day. I enjoyed watching him a lot." 

My favorite to watch play hoops: "Skylar Diggins, the point guard for Notre Dame. I like her control and leadership."

Up next: Manninen will get the chance to contribute immediately for the Lakers' basketball team, and will major in pre-med with hopes of becoming a physician assistant. "I want to help people, and when I was down at U-M (to visit her uncle at the hospital) I saw a lot of opportunities to do that."

(Click to read more.)  

Dansville softball

On Friday, the Aggies won their first MHSAA Semifinal. On Saturday, the finished the weekend with the Division 4 championship. Dansville was in its third trip to Bailey Park over the last four seasons, and defeated top-ranked and two-time reigning champion Petersburg-Summerfield, 3-2. Not only was it the first softball championship in school history, but also the first MHSAA title in any girls sport. The Aggies had entered the postseason ranked No. 9 and finished this spring 31-5.

This spring's previous honorees

State Champs! Network: 2023 Lower Peninsula Girls Golf Finals Highlights

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Join Elizabeth Coon as State Champs! takes a look at all of the action from the 2023 Lower Peninsula Girls Golf Finals.