Local Sports Journal

The faces change on the Mona Shores boys golf team, but the results are usually the same.

That was certainly the case Wednesday at Stonegate Golf Club, where the Sailors captured their 15th city championship in the past 16 years –  in the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association City Tournament.

And they did it in style, with their top four shooters taking the top four places in the tournament, and their fifth shooter taking sixth.

Mona Shores finished with a team score of 288, which was par for the Stonegate course and one of the top team scores in school history, according to Sailor coach Scott Volkmann.

Reeths-Puffer finished second with 318, followed by North Muskegon (332), Ravenna (352), Whitehall (366), Muskegon Catholic (378), Montague (381), Fruitport (387), Western Michigan Christian (394) and Orchard View (412).

“We sit down as a team every offseason and write down our goals, and the first one is always the same – we want to win the city tournament,” said Mona Shores coach Scott Volkmann.

“This is a tournament that we hold in very high regard. Any time you have a chance to win it it’s special and you cherish it.”

Winning the individual city title for Mona Shores was Mitchell White, who shot a 69. He was followed by teammates A.J. Ringelberg (second place, 72), Riley Duff (third place, 73), Glen Kastelic (fourth place, 74) and Grand Norris (sixth place, 76).

Reeths-Puffer also had a good day, placing three golfers in the top 10 – Collin Kolbe (fifth, 74), Ryan Kooiman (eighth, 79) and Brandon Young (ninth, 79).

Wil Mierz of North Muskegon finished seventh with a 79 and Connor Beahan of Ravenna was 10th with an 80.

White, the new city champion, finished second in last year’s event.

“He keeps getting better and better, and he keeps working hard,” Volkmann said of White. “He’s already drawing some interest from some college programs.

“He’s definitely our leader and best player, but it helps him to have a very strong supporting cast. With good players behind him, he can go out and relax and just do his thing.”

While the Sailors are always the favorite in the city tournament, this could have been the year that they slipped a bit.

They lost their three top golfers from last year’s team, which finished third in the state. Only one golfer on this year’s team – White – shot in the city meet last season. And the top five players are all juniors.

As recently as Monday, the Sailors were not playing up to par. They finished second in their own invitational tournament to Grand Blanc, and Volkmann was not pleased with the outcome.

“I got on our kids pretty good yesterday at practice, and it looks like they got the message,” Volkmann said. “I reminded them that we needed to do the little things right. The state finals can come down to a shot or two.

“On Monday we had 17 double bogeys or worse. We were missing the green from 50 yards out, things like that. They are little things, but they make a big difference in the end.”

Overall the Sailors, with their new lineup, have been doing very well this season. They recently won invitational tournaments in Saline and Traverse City, and are currently ranked third in the state in Division I.

The success is not unexpected, according to Volkmann. The Sailors may be young and inexperienced, but they’re also talented and improving, he said.

“I guess I’m not surprised (at the success),” Volkmann said. “These guys had some success at the junior varsity level, and we have a very nice indoor facility that we built at the school the last two years, so they get the chance to work on their game in the offseason.

“There’s been a learning curve, but this is a talented group, they’re very tight, and they work very hard. They are definitely on track to do some good things.”

GMAA Boys City Golf results

1, Mona Shores
Mitchell White 69 – 1
Glen Kastelic 74 – 4
Grant Norris 76 – 6
Riley Duff 73 – 3
A.J. Ringelberg 72 – 2

2, Reeths-Puffer
Ryan Kooiman 79 – 7
Collin Kolbe 74 – 4
Trevor Fowler 89 – 21
Thomas Swiatek 86 – 16
Brandon Young 79 – 7

3, North Muskegon
Wil Mierz 79 – 7
Connor McEvoy 88 – 18
Mitch Edick 84 – 13
Matt Hanely 81 – 11
Garrett Rebone 88 – 18

4, Ravenna
Connor Beahan 80 – 10
Jake Deering 92 – 24
Neal Wilds 92 – 24
Tim Pattersen 88 – 18
Tanner Gardenour 98 – 32

5, Whitehall
Tell Sutton 87 – 17
Hayden Collins 91 – 22
Connor Rake 95 – 30
Isaiah Toelle 93 – 26
Drew Bolles 98 – 32

6, Muskegon Catholic Central
Collin Powers 85 – 15
Noah Bertolone 101 – 37
Jackson Klairter 94 – 27
Kris Berntzen 98 – 32
Zach Tilden 106 – 50

7, Montague
Devin Roesler 84 – 13
Jordan Weaver 97 – 31
Matt Visger 102 – 41
Caleb Semelbauer 99 – 36
Riley Norkett 101 – 37

8, Fruitport
Austin Buckinghame 81 – 11
Sam Tejchma 116 – 8
Nick Giltrop 103 – 43
Noah Newmeyer 102 – 41
Mitch McNitt 101 – 37

9, Western Michigan Christian
John Larson 94 – 27
Devon Kitchen 108 – 45
Sam Bekins 94 – 27
Eric Bean 120 – 49
William Plaisier 98 – 32

10, Orchard View
Branden Brewer 91 – 22
Chris Bentley 101 – 37
Hunter Bengsten 115 – 47
Justin Jonker 106 – 44
Coedi Fluette 114 – 46