L’Anse Creuse boys golf getting set for 2011 postseason

By: Brad D. Bates | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published May 17, 2011

 Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse senior Shawn Carmody has led the Lancers with an average of 81 at 18-hole tournaments in 2011.

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse senior Shawn Carmody has led the Lancers with an average of 81 at 18-hole tournaments in 2011.

Photo by David Schreiber

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Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse golf coach Scott Opalewski has to like what he’s seen from his team this season, and it might get even better.

The Lancers took home top-10 finishes at the Evans Gill Tournament April 26 at Romeo Golf Club and at the Macomb County Invitational May 2, and did so without some of their best golfers.

“Going in, I thought we’d be a top-five team this year,” Opalewski said.

“My top four are seniors, but we’ve had kids miss for vacations or AP testing. I’ve always been missing one of my seniors, but we’ve had some good alternates we could rely on.”
Along with their top-10 finishes in tournaments, the Lancers have been successful in MAC White dual meets, posting a 4-2 record at press time and in the thick of the league race with county champ Macomb Dakota and last year’s league and district champion Clinton Township Chippewa Valley.

“Every match is tough in the MAC White,” Opalewski said. “The MAC White is very difficult, and if you look at district results, the teams from the White are the ones that make it to regionals.

“In any of our (league) duals, we don’t play a weak match. You’ve got to bring your game or you will get beat.”

While it was a different supporting casts at the tournaments, the Lancers did have two of their top seniors, Shawn Carmody and Todd McNulty, tee it up.

Carmody led the Lancers at both tournaments, shooting an 80 at Romeo and an 82 at the county meet at Timberwood Golf Club in Ray Township.

“He’s very long off the tee, and has a great ability to scramble and make pars and birdies,” Opalewski said of Carmody, who also placed second at the 2011 Macomb Optimists Junior tourney May 7 at Cherry Creek Golf Club in Shelby Township.

“He has the ability to shoot very low numbers because he’s a great scrambler and hits great iron shots.”

McNulty was third on his squad at the Evans Gill tourney with an 83 and second at the county meet with another 83.

Opalewski’s other seniors have also shot quality rounds, with Max Dorn helping the Lancers total 331 and place eighth at the Evans Gill after firing an 81, and Austin Bruce shooting a 91 at the county meet.

“Those four seniors are going to take us as far as we go,” Opalewski said. “Our seniors are definitely our leaders.”

Chief among the underclassmen are sophomore Luke Buzo, who tallied an 87 at Romeo, and an 89 at Timberwood.

At the county meet, it was sophomore Tyler Andrews’ 87 that helped the Lancers to a 341 and finish in 10th place.

While he was glad to have his underclassmen support the seniors in their regular-season meets, Opalewski said he’ll look to his veterans to step up their games for the postseason.

“The sophomores all shoot around 80 or 85, but if we’re going to do well in the state meets, we need scores in the 70s,” Opalewski said. “We’ve got some really good teams in our area, and it seems like they get better every year.”

The Lancers kick off the state playoffs with their Division 1 district meet June 2 on their home course at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

At the district, they’ll face familiar foes in MAC White rivals Chippewa Valley, Dakota, Utica High and Port Huron Northern.

The MAC’s Utica Eisenhower, Utica Ford II, Utica Stevenson, Anchor Bay, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North and Port Huron High, as well as the Oakland Activities Association’s Troy High and Troy Athens, also will be at the meet.

“I hope we do well, because we’ve had a really nice streak of success in district and making it to regionals,” Opalewski said of his team’s recent run of top-six district finishes that earn berths in the regional round.

“And the potential is there for this to be one of the best teams we’ve had. My seniors, all four of them, have the potential to shoot in the 70s, and Shawn has the ability to shoot in the low to mid-70s.

“We have to play well, because our district is going to be real tough,” Opalewski added. “It’s our home course, though, and I expect us to shoot below 320. Hopefully, we do, and hopefully, it’s good enough.”
 

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