Eisenhower golf returns to course after winning league and district championship

By: Mark Vest | Shelby - Utica News | Published April 2, 2013

Utica Eisenhower’s golf team has returned to action in preparation for a season that will see the Eagles try to defend a Macomb Area Conference Red Division title, as well as a district championship.

Eisenhower also took fourth place at its regional last season, just missing the cut for the state finals. As painful as that may have been, coach Ryan deCardenas thinks the postseason experience his team gained could turn out to be beneficial.

Eisenhower has five returning players in Michael Gaulin, who made it to the individual state finals last year, Marc Hebert, Connor Jones, Jack Hebert and Ryan Jaros. deCardenas expressed confidence that he has the right leaders in place to try to help Eisenhower take aim at its goals.

“As a coach, it brings a lot of confidence,” deCardenas said of the experience on his team. “The boys know their roles. They know how to overcome some adversity in situations of playing in some high-level tournaments. They’ve already demonstrated some leadership roles, as far as setting tones in practice and setting tones every day in what we’re doing to make our team better. Obviously, golf is a very individual sport, but we look at this as a team, and we try to promote each other getting better and completing their goals.”

While Eisenhower may be looking forward to taking another shot at postseason success, the Eagles’ first order of business is winning the MAC Red. And despite the experience Eisenhower may be taking to the course, deCardenas said he understands the kind of competition his team is likely to see in league play.

“I think anybody can take it,” he said. “It’s always been a very strong conference. You never know who can step it up. I know Grosse Pointe South is always coming back strong. Grosse Pointe North, (Utica) Ford and Romeo can always come back strong. You never know. It’s always up in the air.”

While deCardenas said he considers the tradition of the golf program at Eisenhower to be strong, he would also like to continue to make some fresh history.

“Not so much starting it, but I think just continuing it on,” he said of Eisenhower’s golf tradition. “The last two (or) three years, the boys have worked hard, as far as trying to accomplish those goals. I think, over the last two, three years, with the experience they continue to bring back between Michael Gaulin, Mark Hebert (and) Ryan Jaros, the seniors that are there. They worked hard to get to this point.”