Lady Eagle golfers open season at Lober Classic and match at Ithaca
The Frankenmuth varsity girls’ golf team kicked off its 2017 season with a pair of outings at Acme and Ithaca.
The Lady Eagles split their squad, with eight girls tackling the Wolverine and Spruce Run at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa on August 16-17 and four players traveling to The Fields Golf Course in Ithaca for a pre-season crossover event.
The 33-team, 12th annual Lober Classic is organized by Traverse City Central. A total of 32 teams in three different divisions played 36 holes over two days. Coach Doug Schneider was pleased with the start to the season.
“We lost four very experienced seniors after last year when we won the Tri-Valley Conference championship, regional championship and ended up fourth in the MHSAA Division 4 state finals,” Schneider said. “I am excited to see how our team will perform this year. I believe we have the talent and attitude to compete at that level again this year.”
This is the deepest the team has ever been since the club’s inception over a decade ago. Having eight players compete for two days in an 18-hole format was first for the team.
“When our club first started, we only had one player with enough skill to play 18 holes for two days. Given the number of players, I want to give a big thank you to Assistant Coach Scott Wenzel and Shayna Schneider who were a big help coaching the girls through the round,” Schneider noted.
Shayna is a FHS graduate and now plays golf for Ferris State University.
The weather for Wednesday’s round was perfect when the Lady Eagles played the Wolverine. Thursday, however, brought a one-hour rain delay in the middle of the second round, followed by periodic hard rain showers, some sun and a lot of humidity.
“Our ladies showed the needed toughness to play fall golf and were not fazed by the rain,” Schneider noted.
Senior Shelby Schneider led ‘Muth with a 97 on the Wolverine and 102 on Spruce Run. Sophomore Katelyn Piesko fired rounds of 104 and 105. Junior Sophia Lee is returning to form and shot 112 and 123. The rest of the players were playing in their first-ever 18-hole outing. Junior Hannah Wenzel carded a 119 and 127, freshman Ella Smith came in with scores of 125 and 117.
Next were sophomores Maura Lee (138 and 143) and Madison McKimmy (143 and 146). Freshman Leah Nielsen showed the biggest improvement between the two days, shooting 151 and following it with a 132.
“The ladies gained very valuable experience that they can now use during practice. They now have a vision of what shots they need to work on, which they will now be able to practice with a purpose,” the coach explained.
“Regardless of the scores, I wanted to see how our younger players would persevere given the difficulty of the courses as well as the physical demands of playing 18 holes both days. I could not have been more proud and optimistic about our team. Every one of our players stayed focused and determined until the end of both rounds,” Schneider stated.
The Lady Eagles also received a compliment from the Grand Rapids Catholic Central coach, noting how impressed he was with the sportsmanship of the team.
“That combination of skill, determination and sportsmanship is why I am so optimistic about our team. I see a large improvement in them every day due to their personal drive to compete and get better,” Schneider added.
Brighton won Division 1 with a team score of 629. Forest Hills Northern won Division 2 with 669 strokes and Grand Rapids South Christian won the combined Division 3-4 with a score of 724.
At Ithaca, the team played a pre-season cross-over event. Junior Angela Kane carded a 58, followed by sophomore Margo Samson with a 64, sophomore Kendra Weber shot a 73 and freshmen Emma Betz also shot 73.