Eagle golfers have sights set on TVC East Division championship
The Frankenmuth varsity boys’ golf team has its sights set on the Tri-Valley Conference championship this spring.
FHS Coach Dan Wagner has had limited outdoor practice this spring, due to the inclement weather, but he feels a quick start will keep them ahead of Essexville Garber, the 2016 TVC champion; ‘Muth was runner-up.
𠇊s the 2016 runner-up to Garber, we are determined to keep them in close range. Even though both teams lost key seniors, I feel we have greater depth and experience coming into the 2017 season,” Wagner said. “It seems like we’ve played catch-up in year’s past; this year we are aiming to take an early lead and continue to separate ourselves from the pack.”
The Eagles open the season today (April 12) at Garber’s Bay County Golf Course, giving FHS the shot to get an early lead in the league.
While a league crown is always the goal, moving on to the MHSAA state finals will be a little more difficult for all teams. The MHSAA has dropped the district level and the post season begins with a regional.
“Making it to states will have to be the result of solid play from a deeper field in a regional. The top three teams and three individuals will advance. We do have one advantage . . . we host the regional at The Fortress on May 31,” Wagner noted.
The MHSAA Division 3 state finals will be held at Ferris State University’s Katke Golf Course in Big Rapids.
“We have the talent to get there this year, but for now, we are focused on day-to-day improvements,” Wagner stated.
Wagner has a pair of returning seniors, including his son Daniel and Chase Singer.
niel is coming off a disappointing 2016 season due to a pervasive back injury. He is still my strongest golfer with the most competitive experience. He is looking forward to a healthier 2017 with sights held high on regaining his 2014 and 2015 TVC league medalist honor. Despite the injury, he’s returning stronger and more focused than even,” Wagner said.
Singer also suffered a back injury in 2016 that kept him out of rotation for a few weeks, but he still managed to earn second-team honors last year.
𠇌hase is showing more confidence than ever and is embracing his role as a leader for this young team,” Wagner pointed out. 𠇌hase is a big, strong guy with soft hands around the greens. He is coming off a runner-up medalist in last year’s regional (77) which is his lowest recorded tournament score. His goal is to stay healthy and contribute in each and every match.”
Wagner also has two returning juniors in Jacksen McKenzie and Sam Tagget.
“Jacksen made steady growth last season as a sophomore and looks to improve upon this year’s growth this season as he moves into more of a leadership role,” Wagner said. “He’s enjoyed regular playing time since his freshman year and with his added strength as a ball-striker and putter, he expects to be in the top of the TVC come the end of May. Jacksen possesses a nice balance of skill in all facets of the game. His focus this season will be to develop a greater feel and instinct for his game and reduce his time overthinking his golf swing.”
Tagget was new to golf last season and has been working hard in the off-season to raise his skill levels.
“The one thing Sam lacks is experience and repetitions on the golf course. These will certainly increase for him this season as an upper classman. As a result, I expect Sam’s confidence to skyrocket,” Wagner commented.
The program has three returning sophomores who all worked on their games over the winter. They are Wes Darrow, Kurtis Wolfram and Jacob Nielsen.
𠇊ll three are skilled and highly-competent golfers who will add a lot to this team. Each has varsity experience as freshmen and each will be competing to fill a void left from the graduation of Sam Struble and Nick Fisher. Wes has shown an ambition greater than I’ve seen in many seasons. It’s exciting when we have young players pushing others to play their best,” Wagner stated.
First-time varsity players include juniors Frank Piesko and Conner Martus and freshmen Connor Anderson, Zac Morris, Cullen Peterson and Kyle Wolfram.
Other scheduling highlights include the TVC Jamboree at The Fortress on Wednesday, April 26; the Eagle Invitational at the Timbers Golf Course on Saturday, April 29, The Bay City Western Invite on Saturday, May 6 and playing The Nightmare Golf Course in West Branch, an invitational hosted by Ogemaw Heights on Saturday, May 25.
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