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April 3, 2013

Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest golf aims for another state-final appearance

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest golf aims for another state-final appearance
Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest senior Jameson Collar is back as the No. 1 player for the Crusaders. Pictured, he takes a chip shot in last season’s Division 4 state final.

Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest boys golf returns plenty of experience and talent this season.

The Crusaders welcomed back four players from the squad that finished 14th in the Division 4 state finals last season, including No. 1 senior Jameson Collar.

“We have expectations to make it to states again,” coach James Mehlberg said. “I wouldn’t say we are in the running to win it, but we should be very competitive. It’s the same group of kids back; it’s just that the ball has to go our way.

“I know their biggest goal is to get back to the state tournament. Us making the state final is a very big success for the golf team.”

Along with Collar, the Crusaders return Dan Sauer, Justin Tignanelli and Kyle Muthart.

“(Collar and Tignanelli) have been on varsity for four years, and they really want to go to states again,” Mehlberg said.

If history is any indication, the Crusaders are on their way. Mehlberg has coached Northwest for two seasons, with each year culminating in a state final appearance.

“I’m not a big skills coach. I’m a big mental coach and course management,” he said. “We have a good group of kids.”

Collar led the team last season with around an 81 average for 18 holes. Mehlberg expects him to lower that into the 70s this time around.

“He works really hard at the game, plays all summer, practices all summer,” the coach said. “He’s more of a thinker out there. He plays the course smart. If he knows the course, he won’t make many mistakes. If he does, it’s only on one or two holes.”

Mehlberg added that the rest of the team is all close in scoring, giving the Crusaders some depth.

“It’s kind of nice,” he said. “The others shoot consistent scores, give or take, which is helpful because you can’t just have one good player.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.