Four CAAC Red teams finished within six strokes of one another Monday at Eagle Eye for the league’s final tournament, but DeWitt walked away as the overall conference champion.
The Panthers did so despite finishing fourth Monday with a team score of 332, having built a large lead through the jamboree circuit. Owosso won the event with a 326.
The tournament was moved from last Thursday due to weather, giving the six schools one last chance to get a competitive round in before districts begin this week.
“We didn’t really play very well,” DeWitt coach Dave Koenigsknecht said. “Geoffrey Croley played pretty well but the other guys weren’t too pleased with how they did, and there are some tough holes. Fortunately we had a big enough lead where we were able to hang on and still win it point-wise overall. We’re hoping to bounce back Wednesday for our district.”
Croley had an 18-hole score of 79 to lead DeWitt. Cody White added an 83, Josh Tempelman shot an 84 and Owen Beyer and Mike Coscarelli each had rounds of 86.
Owosso took four scores under 85, led by sophomore Todd Mieske’s 77. Mieske had the lowest round of the tournament along with Haslett’s Patrick Narduzzi.
“I played well,” Mieske said after his round. “Positioning off the tee was important today. I hit a lot of fairways and hit greens and made some of the putts. Today is preparing me for (districts) Thursday, which is very important, because my goal is to eventually make it to states as an individual or as a team.”
Austin Messman added an 82 and Jordan Waters and Jalen Weekley were close behind with rounds of 83 and 84, respectively.
“I felt like all year we were capable of shooting scores like we did today,” Owosso coach Dave Owens said. “We just haven’t been able to put four scores together. Maybe it was the good weather or the practice round that we had out here yesterday, but the kids felt good coming out here and I kind of had a feeling we were going to put together a good round. It’s been a competitive league all year if you take a look at each one of the jamborees that we’ve had. The top four schools have always been within 10 to 12 shots of each other. Any team could step up and get a win. …
“Any time you can beat DeWitt, Haslett or St. Johns, it’s a great day. Those are three premier teams in the state and we’re going to try to use that as momentum to carry us over and show us what we are capable of doing.”
Haslett was two shots behind Owosso in second with a team score of 328. Along with Narduzzi’s 77, Marc Varlesi added a 79, Garrison Foote had an 83 and Jack Claucherty carded an 84.
St. Johns had a team score of 330. The Redwings were led by Zach Rosendale’s 79. Fowlerville took fifth as a team and Ionia was sixth.
Five of the six CAAC Red schools will be at a Division 2 district tournament Wednesday at The Emerald. Owosso will play Thursday in Lapeer and is also in Division 2.