Lakeland boys golf had little to worry about the past few years, with four of the starting five penciled in. But gone are Jake Kneen (Oakland University), Justin Pahl (Oakland CC), Owen Skrelunas (Oakland CC) and Alex Kleckner to graduation.
The lone starting returnee is junior Justin LaFrance, who finished the season with a bang, an even-par two-day run at the state finals. He finished three strokes behind the medalist.
The Eagles had a huge season with division and KLAA Association titles before a postseason run that ended with a sixth-place finish at states.
To put it mildly, Lakeland will have to reload with new faces. A couple of names who have stood out in early practices are seniors Matt and Andrew Lindon, Jake Rew and David Vernon; juniors Adam Kleckner and Blake Kocsis; and sophomore Austin Gogola
“This year’s squad is a little green, but are an athletic bunch. We will find our way,” coach Hugh Felt said.
Felt doesn’t want to set the bar as high as last year’s team, but he isn’t backing down from repeating some of last year’s accomplishments.
“We plan on defending our KLAA titles,” he said. “I like our chances in the division, but the conference is a steeper hill to climb. Hartland has to be the favorite for the conference, followed by Brighton.”
(home matches at Mystic Creek)
4/15 at Pinckney preseason tourney (Timber Trace), TBA
4/20 at Seaholm tourney (Indianwood CC), 11 am
4/23 vs. Waterford Kettering, 3 pm
4/28 vs. WL Central, 3 pm
4/30 at Walled Lake Northern (Beacon Hill), 3 pm
5/2 vs. Lakeland invite, 9 am
5/4 at SunTel invite (Birmingham CC), noon
5/5 vs. Waterford Mott, 3 pm
5/7 at WL Western (Bay Pointe), 3 pm
5/9 at M&M invite (Hudson Mills), 8:30 am
5/11 at Huron Valley invite (Prestwick), 9 am
5/13 at Milford (Prestwick), 9 am
5/14 at KLAA crossover (Dunham Hills), TBA
5/19 vs. KLAA crossover, 3 pm
5/26 at KLAA tourney (Whispering Willows), TBA