The Marshall and Lakeview boys’ golf teams are both within reach of winning state championships after posting solid totals Friday during the first round of action in the MHSAA finals.
Marshall was in fourth place with a 317 in the Division 2 meet at Forest Akers West Golf Course on the campus of Michigan State University, 12 shots behind leader Ada Forest Hills Eastern’s 305.
Leading the Redhawks’ all-senior group in the 43rd-and-final year of Tom Reynolds’ coaching career was Aaron McCoy with a 75 — tying him for ninth individually.
Lakeview was tied for eighth place with a 303 at the Division 1 finals at Forest Akers East, but only 10 shots behind Detroit Country Day and Swartz Creek with their leading 293s.
Also for the Spartans, sophomore Andrew Walker had an opening-round 3-under-par 69, which tied him for second place individually and just one stroke back of leader Joel Pietila of Rockford and his 68.
The final 18-hole rounds of state meets action take place Saturday.
Following is more information about the Marshall and Lakeview teams, plus information about the other locals playing in this weekend’s links championships.
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Aside from being 12 shots back of first place, Marshall trailed Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood’s 308 and Dearborn Divine Child’s 316.
Following McCoy in scoring for the Redhawks was Brandon Hawkins with a 78, Jared Gardner with an 81, Tanor Blowers with an 83 and Matt Serbantez with a no-count 91.
“We did leave a few shots out on the course today … but even though this may sound kind of weird, I like where we’re at in fourth place. I like the position we’re in,” said Reynolds, who is retiring from coaching after today. “We’re not that far back of first place, and in our practice round Thursday we had scores of 72, 73, 75 and 77.
“So, you can never know what’s going to happen, but I just have a feeling we’re going to go out there Saturday and make a statement. I think we’re going to rise to the occasion and play better … and maybe, just maybe we can win this thing.”
Marshall — ranked No. 5 — finished second in the state last season, and Reynolds coached the Redhawks to the school’s only MHSAA title in 1996.
Also at Forest Akers East, individual qualifier Tyler VanderMolen, a Gull Lake senior, opened with an 88.
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Lakeview, the defending Division 1 state champ, came into the MHSAA state finals ranked No. 3. The Spartans were playing the easier of MSU’s two courses Friday, Forest Akers East, but only Walker was able to break par.
Also for the Spartans, junior Matt Alderink had a 76, sophomore Jared Fisk shot a 78, and junior A.J. Moore and freshman James Staab had 80s.
“We should have played better, but it’s a pretty tight field,” said Lakeview coach Tony Evans.
Only 22 shots separated first place from 15th.
“We made some pretty big mistakes on some of the holes today, but then again they had some sucker-type pin placements on some of the holes in an attempt to toughen up the course,” Evans said.
“Andrew played really well … but I’m figuring the rest of the guys can go much lower than they did today. So Saturday, we’re just going to go out there and try to play the way we’re really capable of playing as a team. We’ve got to really go for low scores, because we want to repeat as state champs. Ten years from now, nobody’s going to remember if you finished second or 14th. But they’ll remember first place. We want to win.”
At The Meadows GC at Grand Valley State, Olivet — making the school’s first-ever state finals appearance in golf — was 15th out of 15 teams with a 369. First was Lansing Catholic with a 313.
Scoring for coach Eddie Collins’ all-senior Eagles were Keagan Carpenter with a 76 (which tied him for seventh place individually), Tyler Masters with an 89, Kayla Harris with a 99, Justin Kepsel with a 105 and Ben Koeske with a no-count 114.
Also, Maple Valley junior Rage Sheldon, an individual qualifier, had an 84.
At Bedford Valley Golf Club in Battle Creek, Charlevoix was in first place as a team with a 321, and low individual was Jackson Christian’s Noah Schneider with a 2-under 70.
Homer junior Hunter Weeks, an individual qualifier, shot an 86 (with 81 or lower being in the top-10-and-ties for all-state medals Friday).
* Note: For complete scores, see mhsaa.com.