By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Andrew Michel received the heart-breaking news only moments before leaving his golf team’s Regional on Friday to get ready for that night’s Brownstown-Woodhaven prom.
But missing making the MHSAA Finals by a stroke was not the first thing he shared with those who asked about his day at West Shore Golf and Country Club in Grosse Ile.
Instead, the graduating senior told of the 132-yard shot he dropped for a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th hole, his second ace but first in competition.
Michel finished with a season-best 76, missing the cut for this weekend’s Lower Peninsula Division 1 Final by a stroke despite firing another eagle during the final holes of his round.
“At the start of the day, I told myself don’t leave anything on the table. Go for it on every hole, make every shot and just have fun at your last tournament,” Michel said Tuesday afternoon as he readied for that night’s graduation ceremony. “Being a senior, I went for everything.”
The best part might’ve been how he came back from a disappointing previous hole.
Michel had just finished off a triple bogey on No. 11, and admitted he was down on himself. He stepped to the next tee with his pitching wedge, and “I didn’t really care what happened. I chose the club I like to hit on that hole, and in the air I was thinking it was really good,” he said.
The ball touched down on the green and spun back into the hole.
Michel also played golf and soccer at Brownstown-Woodhaven. He’ll attend Grand Valley State University in the fall, study engineering, and will try to walk-on the Lakers’ golf team.
“Deep down inside,” he said he’s disappointed he won’t be playing at Michigan State’s Forest Akers West on Friday. But he’s got a quite a highlight to take with him from his final high school round.
“It was very bittersweet. I really wanted to go to state,” Michel said. “But the hole-in-one balanced it out a bit.”
Eye on the official
Hopefully you caught our MHSAA benchmarks piece (also published on Second Half) on longtime official Lamont Simpson, who has worked not only MHSAA Finals but NCAA tournaments and is one of 32 officials in the WNBA. (Here’s the link in case you missed it.)
He also became that league’s first to wear the referee cam, debuting the new gear during a recent game between the Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever.
The camera provides plenty of ref’s-eye views. Click the video below to check it out.
Wheels of Steele
We’ve been watching the inspiring progress of Frankenmuth runner Bobby Steele especially over the last few years as his story became known across the Lower Peninsula.
Steele, who is visually impaired, has run cross country and track for the Eagles, thanks to the help of guides who ran with him to help him stay on course.
If you haven’t heard Steele’s awesome story, check out this 8-minute video. Not only did Steele run, but he cut roughly 12 minutes off his first cross country times over the course of his career.
1. BOYS BASKETBALL Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice opened with a 75-66 win over reigning Division 2 champion Ferndale – Oakland Press
2. BOYS BASKETBALL Flint Carman-Ainsworth edged reigning Division 3 champion Flint Beecher 46-44 – WNEM
3. BOYS BASKETBALL Pinconning defeated Ogemaw Heights for the first time since 2011, 59-43 – Bay City Times
4. HOCKEY Cadillac edged Negaunee 5-4 in overtime – Cadillac News
5. HOCKEY Bloomfield Hills also won in overtime, 4-3 over Lakes United – Oakland Press
6. BOYS BASKETBALL Rider Bartel scored all 33 of his points during the first half of Harbor Springs’ 76-29 win over Indian River Inland Lakes – Petoskey News-Review
7. BOYS BASKETBALL Dowagiac opened Lakeland Conference play with a 63-51 win over Buchanan – Niles Daily Star
8. BOYS BASKETBALL Onsted downed Michigan Center 73-39 in a matchup of frequent league contenders – JTV
9. BOYS BASKETBALL McBain Northern Michigan Christian opened with a 74-37 win over Midland Calvary Baptist – MI Sports Now
10. BOYS BASKETBALL Taylor edged Dearborn Advanced Tech 65-59 – Southgate News-Herald