Local teams prepare for Macomb County girls golf tournament

By: Zachary Manning | C&G Newspapers | Published September 18, 2020

 Cherry Creek Golf Club is set to host the Macomb County girls golf tournament Sept. 30.

Cherry Creek Golf Club is set to host the Macomb County girls golf tournament Sept. 30.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

MACOMB COUNTY — As the temperature begins to drop and the leaves start to fall, local high school golfers from the area will take to the course for the Macomb County girls golf tournament at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 30 at Cherry Creek Golf Club.

Utica Eisenhower has been the team to beat as of late, winning the last two county tournaments. Last year, the Eagles won by 34 strokes.

A big piece to the puzzle for Eisenhower has been senior Ariel Chang. She’s had the top individual score at the event the last three years.

Even with one of the top individuals and two consecutive championships, Eagles coach Jerry Griesbeck doesn’t want his team to get ahead of itself.

“We know it’s going to be difficult,” Griesbeck said. “Every year, it’s a little bit different because, every year, the players change and there is good talent coming in. We definitely know that we have to play our best.”

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament will look a little different this year.

St. Clair Shores Lakeview coach Karen Mazzola said tournaments have followed strict protocols and anticipates the Macomb County tournament will be the same.

According to Mazzola, coaches have collected scorecards from the players after the last hole and turned the cards in for them.

Once the player has handed in the card, they are sent home to await the results that will be emailed later in the day. If any awards are to be handed out, they will be mailed to the coaches and distributed to the players.

“As a coach, I’m not even allowed to even supply water or snacks or anything for these girls anymore,” Mazzola said. “I’m not allowed to hand them anything.”

Despite the restrictions, the tournament is still a good opportunity for players and teams to get a read on how they might fare against some top-level competition at regionals and states.

Last year’s county tournament featured Eisenhower, Macomb Dakota, Warren Regina, Romeo High, Macomb Lutheran North, Lakeview, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, Utica Ford II, Sterling Heights Stevenson, Utica High and an individual from Fraser High.

“It gives us an awful lot of confidence,” Griesbeck said of winning the county tournament. “We’re playing a lot of similar teams in our region. It’s almost all Macomb County teams, but then there’s three teams in the regional from Oakland County. Oakland County — their golf is very good.”