Lamphere golf takes MAC Silver title

By: Christian Davis | Madison - Park News | Published May 20, 2016

 Lamphere’s Josh Watson hits a chip shot during practice. The Rams recently won their first MAC Silver title since 2010.

Lamphere’s Josh Watson hits a chip shot during practice. The Rams recently won their first MAC Silver title since 2010.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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It was nearly a year ago that Madison Heights Lamphere boys golf coach Art Maisano challenged his team.

“It was at the banquet in front of the entire school. … I said we totally expect to be standing up here next year holding a plaque for the league champs,” Maisano said.

When this spring’s banquet comes, the Rams will be fulfilling those wishes. The squad has clinched the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division, standing at 9-0 at press time. 

Maisano said it’s especially satisfying because of the kids who accomplished the feat. The Rams are senior heavy with Koede Bautista, Jack Strong, Job Mayor, Jordan Kenney, Jason Magyari and Josh Watson. Ben Weide is the lone junior.

“You have to win with seniors, I said that when I was coaching football. But senior spring sports is a mixed bag. They’re going to prom, spring break, they’re graduating and can become less focused. These guys stayed focused the whole way,” the coach said. 

Bautista has led the way, averaging 40.4 for nine holes. Strong has been the No. 2 with a 42.1 average.

Both golfers were also the school’s first medalists in the Oakland County Division 2 Tournament, as Bautista fired a 77 and finished 11th, while Strong carded a 78 and placed 13th. The team’s score of 332 in the event May 6 also tied a program low for a score in any tournament.

The Rams placed sixth.

Up next, Lamphere turns its attention to the Division 2 district, which gets underway May 26 at Maple Lane Golf Club. The top six teams and top six individuals on nonqualifying teams advance to the regional level.

“I think we have enough talent to get to the regional. We’ve done it the last few years, but we’ll see. I’m not worried about getting them to regionals — I just want them to score, to go low,” Maisano said. “Guys that shoot their best, that’s what it’s all about.”

Qualifying for the regional or not, the Rams have already answered their coach’s call from last spring.

“It’s kind of a redemption season for us. We battled through a lot of adversity last season,” Maisano said, noting that the squad was 4-6 last year. “It’s been fun. I’ve been doing this for the last 12 or 13 years. Is it my best team from top to bottom? I don’t know, but they’re sure acting like it.”

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