Berkley High golf believes has potential for special season

By: Christian Davis | Woodward Talk | Published April 10, 2013

Berkley High boys golf coach Scott Baltes is filled with optimism when thinking about the season ahead.

“This could be the year,” he said. “It could be something special.”

The Bears return five players and have added an instant contributor in junior Anthony Jackson.

Jackson transferred in from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

“He’s the real deal,” Baltes said. “He’s very controlled, very smooth and very devoted to golf. He definitely has that hunger and is a good kid.”

Jackson is slated to play the No. 2 spot, behind senior Jimmy Demery, who qualified for regionals last season.

“(Demery is) 6 foot 6, and I’ve been trying to beat Ernie Els into his head for two months. ‘Just swing smooth.’ He has a very controlled game this year, and I think he’s ready,” Baltes said, adding that Demery will be playing golf for Ferris State University next year. “Jimmy is my captain, and he already has his college stuff taken care of, so there is no pressure on him.”

Senior Eric Israel, also a regional qualifier last season, is at No. 3.

“He always finishes strong. He’s that guy at the end of the year, and he actually beat Jimmy at districts. He could be that strong again, and it’s where we don’t even have to worry about his score.”

The Bears compete in the Oakland Activities Association White Division and battle Birmingham Seaholm, Birmingham Groves, Farmington High, Farmington Hills Harrison, North Farmington and Royal Oak High.

In league matches, teams send out six golfers and count the top four scores for the team.

“I have three solid players and seven more that are all capable of scoring in the low 40s,” the coach said, adding that he expects the division title to come down to Groves and his squad.

Baltes believes the team will be seven to eight strokes better than last season, on the whole. His goal is for the squad to qualify for the team regional.

“We want to be steady and peak at the right time, and put our names back on the map for golf,” he said.