Lakeshore’s boys golf team is hoping a string of recent successes will provide a boost heading into Thursday’s golf regional.
The Lancers head to Four Lakes Country Club for a Division 2 golf regional hosted by Edwardsburg on Thursday. There they will play against three Div. 2 state-ranked teams in Gull Lake (No. 4), Marshall (No. 6) and Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West Division rival Mattawan (No. 7).
St. Joseph and Niles will also compete in the same regional.
“There are some really good teams in our region,” Lakeshore coach Mike Longyear said. “We have to get by at least one of them to make it to the state tournament.”
Bears coach Ernie Watson echoed a similar stance.
“It is going to be tough to get out of the regional,” he said. “Mattawan, Gull Lake and Marshall are the top three favorites. We will have to have a pretty special day to get out as a team.”
Lakeshore finished second behind the Wildcats in the SMAC West championship last Wednesday. The Lancers then headed to South Haven the same day to play in the HawksHead Shootout, where they won the best-ball format tourney for the fourth straight year with a team score of 73.
Logan Essig and Davis Longyear each had a hand in the win.
Davis, paired with Steve Carson, shot a combined score of 36. Essig and Stuart Clarke shot a combined 37.
Even with the strong competition awaiting them, the Lancers are ready.
“We feel good,” Longyear said. “We have a game plan. We’ve been down there three times and have broken the golf course down and made some yardage books. Our kids will take the game plan and will see what they can do.”
St. Joseph tied for third place with Portage Northern in the SMAC tournament. The Bears are relying on top golfers Ryan Guzzo and Briggs Mosher to help them get the lowest score possible.
“We need to shoot a 320 or lower to get out,” Watson said. “Ryan and Briggs have a chance to get out individually, but as a team we would have to have a special day. Gull Lake has a deep team and Mattawan has the Pelak (Matt and Luke) twins.
“It will be tough, and if you can’t shoot a 320 you don’t have a shot.”
Division 2 at Hamilton
South Haven is the only local team to play in a separate Division 2 regional. The Rams will play at Diamond Springs Golf Club in Hamilton on Wednesday.
The Rams are led by veteran players Sam Dubuisson, Chase Webb, Keaton Ruppert and Brady Cochran. All four were the top finishers for the team in last year’s home regional at HawksHead Links.
Division 3 at Schoolcraft
Berriens Springs, Coloma, Dowagiac, Brandywine, Buchanan and Watervliet all play Wednesday at Olde Mill Golf Course in a Division 3 regional hosted by Schoolcraft.
The Bucks finished second in the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Conference tournament, shooting 368. That was five strokes back from winner Parchment, which shot a 363.
Buchanan is led by Ethan Valentine and John Garland, who shot 87 and 91, respectively.
Berrien Springs was fourth in the same tournament, shooting 395. Jackson Glanzer led the Shamrocks by shooting an 81, coming in second place behind medalist Logan Hicks of Comstock.
Division 4 at Hackett
Bridgman, New Buffalo, Lake Michigan Catholic and River Valley will head to Milham Park Golf Course for a Division 4 regional hosted by Kalamazoo Hackett.
The four BCS schools could face some tough challenges. Host Hackett won the Southwestern Athletic Conference Valley championship this season, and has played against a number of the other teams including division rivals Kalamazoo Christian and Lawton.
Gobles will also be a tough competitor as the Tigers are the SAC Lakeshore champs.
Catholic finished third in the BCS tournament, shooting a 376. New Buffalo and Bridgman finished in fifth and ninth, respectively. River Valley was in last place.
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