Eagle golfers have a deep roster, aim for TVC East Division title
The mid-Michigan weather is changing just in time for Frankenmuth varsity boys’ golf team Coach Dan Wagner.
The Eagles competed well and despite winning many Tri-Valley Conference East Division Jamborees, finished in second place in the league.
This season, Wagner will begin the season without graduate, Nick Maroun, and a competitive group of players vying for playing time.
“We finally have some depth to work with this season, however, we lost one active senior in Nick Maroun so we are looking to fill his void,” Wagner said.
A dozen student-athletes are on the team this season, including four seniors, three juniors, four sophomores and three freshmen.
“We have five solid golfers this year, with an additional two or three players competing for those five spots. This creates a problem, but it is a good problem to have as a coach. I look forward to some intense qualifying rounds to fill these few spots.”
Wagner has had to improvise practice this spring, due to the cold and wet weather. The team has practiced in the gym as well as Millington’s Willow Springs Golf Course, which is actually open all year.
Following is a break down of the team’s players:
Senior Clayton Singer is a second-year player with varsity match experience. He was an All-TVC East honorable mention pick in 2014, with a 46.5 nine-hole scoring average.
𠇌layton’s goal is to lower the scoring average to 44 with short game improvements,” Wagner said.
Senior Jared Hudson also is a second-year player with varsity match play. He played in six events last year with a nine-hole average of 44.6 strokes.
“Jared was a key player last year but suffered an injury midway through the season. We would like to see him lower his average to 42 with improved putting . . . he’ll compete for spots three and four in the line up,” Wagner pointed out.
Senior Nick Worley is a four-year varsity performer who is vying for the sixth spot in the line up.
“Nick is working on lowering his average to bogy golf,” Wagner noted.
Senior Reece Sprague is a first-year golfer who is gaining experience.
Junior Tony Sulfaro will begin his third year as a varsity team member and will also compete for the sixth spot.
“Tony played in four events with a nine-hole average of 50. We hope to see Tony lower his average to bogy golf,” Wagner said.
Junior Sam Struble is also a three-year player who was a second-team All-TVC East performer in 2014. He had a nine-hole average of 43.5 and his personal goal is 41 as he shoots to become the No. 2 or 3 golfer this season.
“Sam has grown physically stronger and can reach any green in regulation. He will develop his 125 yards and in approach shots to lower his score,” Wagner pointed out.
Junior Nick Fisher is a first-year player.
“Nick displays a raw talent for the game and strives to work his way into the No. 5 or 6 spots this season,” Wagner said. “With a little practice, we hope to see him shoot in the lower 40s by season’s end.”
Sophomore Daniel Wagner is in his second season with the Eagles. In 2014, he finished as the TVC East medalist with a nine-hole average of 41 and he landed on the All-TVC East first team.
Wagner shot 80 at The Fortress Golf Course at the MHSAA Division 3 Regional and qualified for the state finals as a freshman. Wagner has grown taller and stronger and looks forward to using these as strengths.
niel seeks to keep his No. 1 status this season, but will be competing with a deeper field of talent this year. His goals are tweaking his short game technique and developing a more reliable and consistent tempo,” Wagner, his father, said.
Sophomore Chase Singer landed on the All-TVC East second team as a first-year player. He averaged 45 strokes per nine holes, has grown taller and stronger and he’ll be in the mix for the No. 2 of No. 3 spot on the squad.
𠇌hase is capable of more and he knows it. His short game is getting better and his length has improved dramatically,” Wagner stated. “He’s confident in his skills, pushes himself well and takes instruction better than most.”
Sophomore Ben Barrett is a second-year varsity golfer “who is still developing skills necessary for varsity experience,” the coach said.
Freshman Jackson McKenzie “shows excellent knowledge and skill for the game and he will most definitely find playing time this year and push some of his underclassman teammates,” Wagner said.
Freshman Joel Zimmerman “is still developing skills necessary for varsity experience,” Wagner added.
The Fortress will be the Eagles’ home course, however, will host just one TVC East Jamboree, set for 3pm Wednesday, April 29. Other schedule highlights include playing Lapeer’s Metamora Golf & Country Club April 17, the Swan Valley Country Club May 13 and the Ithaca Invitational May 15.
The 12-team MHSAA Division 3 District No. 29 will be played at The Fortress on Wednesday, May 20, with the Division 3 Regional set for the Flint Elks Country Club on Thursday, May 28. The state final will be played Friday and Saturday, June 5-6, at Michigan State University’s Forest Akers West Course.