DeWitt and East Lansing showed off the depth in their respective lineups Monday in the East Lansing Invitational at Walnut Hills Country Club, and it led them to top two finishes as a team.
The Panthers won the 21-team event with a team score of 315. East Lansing was close behind with a 317.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” DeWitt coach Dave Koenigsknecht said. “We didn’t play so well last Saturday (at the Haslett Invitational), but it was their first real tournament. We had three guys shoot under 80, which I was real happy with.”
Two of those scores came from the number three and four spots, as Josh Tempelman and Geoffrey Croley both carded 18-hole scores of 76 to finish in the top 10 as indivduals. Owen Beyer also turned in a top-10 score with a 77.
“Owen I expected to play pretty well, and he had a good round,” Koenigsknecht said. “Geoffrey Croley and Josh Tempelman both shot 76, but they’ve been at the range a lot the last several months and it’s been paying off. (Those two) were guys that didn’t really play last year. Josh Tempelman didn’t play much at all, and Geoffrey played JV, but they’ve been working hard on their game.”
Beyer, who played the remainder of his round two-under par after a double bogey at the 10th hole, said DeWitt is ready to make a strong run this season.
“Now we can probably put three scores in the mid 70s up all year,” Beyer said. “If we can just get a low 80, we can dominate this year.”
East Lansing took four scores from their number two, three, four and five positions. Logan Wilcox and Ian Carroll led the way with 78s while Matt Rogerson and Paul Gagnier turned in rounds of 80 and 81, respectively.
The host Trojans were the highest-finishing CAAC Blue team with Grand Ledge (321), Okemos (331), Holt (349) and Jackson (370) also competing.
“We’ve got a bunch of kids right around 80 and it’s really early,” East Lansing coach Vic Whipp said. “We’ve only had two practices on grass so this is our third event and we’ve played more than we’ve practiced. We’re probably the favorite in our division and DeWitt’s probably the favorite in their division. We’ll run into them again a couple times here and there.
“It’s fun. They’re always good, and it’s always really close. We beat them at the district, they beat us at the regional and we beat them at the states last year.”
The Comets tied for third place with Lansing Catholic and St. Johns, but the Cougars took the tiebreaker based on the score of the fifth player.
Lansing Catholic won the event last year on its way to the Division 3 state championship.
St. Johns was led by freshman Zach Rosendale. The Michigan State commit carded a 76 for the Redwings. Freshman Eric Nunn added a 78.
“The two freshmen came through big for us,” St. Johns coach Paul Sternburgh said. “That’s a luxury, and I have not had that very often or very many times in the years I’ve coached. For them to come in with the focus that they have, the maturity they have and to play and stay focused for 18 holes, that’s a lot to do. It’s amazing.”
Zack Sutika from Linden was the medalist with a 74. Haslett’s Marc Varlesi had the lowest score among mid-Michigan players, shooting a 75.