Manistee’s boys golf team got a taste of the big time this weeked in the MHSAA Division 3 state finals tournament at Michigan State University’s Forest Akers West.
The Chippewas tied for seventh in the state, led by top-10 individual placer Jacob Scharp. Going forward, they’re going to be hungry for more, according to coach Mike Swanson.
“We really performed well on the first day. The second day, we didn’t play as well but came out to about our average and so seventh is good,” Swanson said. “We were happy with it.
“Let in sink in and that’s what I’m been telling the boys. There’s nothing to be discouraged about this. We made it to a place where we wanted to, we competed with the best and we did all right.”
Manistee sat in second place after day one Friday with a team score of 327. The Chippewas shot 346 on day two Saturday.
Grand Rapids Catholic Central captured its second state title in three seasons with a two-day total of 614 (306-308). Lansing Catholic was runner-up (649), followed by Saginaw Swan Valley third (652), Tawas fourth (662), Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett fifth (662) and Hanover Horton sixth (664).
Manistee, the lone state finals representative from the West Michigan Conference, tied with Jackson Lumen Christi (334-339).
“The team got to be placed highly after day one and they got to experience playing with the best. We were playing with the winning group and that was pretty exciting,” Swanson said.
GRCC’s Matthew Sokorai earned individual medalist honors by shooting 71 on Friday and 70 on Saturday for a two-day total of 141. Teammate Will Preston placed second at 148.
Scharp, a Manistee junior, shot 76 on Friday and 81 on Saturday for a total of 157 and a 10th-place finish.
Manistee freshman Max Sharp shot 170 over the course of two days, while senior Jordan Bladzik was at 172, junior Braydon Sorenson 178 and senior Ben Schlaff 188.
The Scharp brothers — both CatchMark SportsNet WMC Player of the Year finalists — along with Sorenson will be looking to lead the Chippewas back to the state finals next season.
Swanson said that reaching the state finals this season was a goal for his team and the WMC Lakes Division champion Chippewas learned a lot from the experience.
“How to handle themselves on the golf course, how to play a two-day tournament — that you’re only halfway (after day one) and that you have to continue,” Swanson said.
“It’s funny, you get to a long way and you want more, so we’re leaving the season with that taste in our mouth where we want to do better next year.”
Photos courtesy of Polly Schlaff
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