By Andrew Johnson
He fell back in the pack last season, finishing fourth. but everyone expected Powers to be a strong contender to regain his title on Wednesday.
He didn’t disappoint.
Powers powered through the high expectations and finished his round Wednesday with a score of 74, two strokes ahead of runner-up Brendan Harris of North Muskegon to take home the championship at Stonegate Golf Club.
“It feels really good,” said Powers, now a senior, about winning his second city title. “It’s pretty cool to come in as kind of the favorite and actually win. There’s always pressure when you’re the guy everyone is looking at to win. It’s just a matter of how you handle it.”
While 74 was good enough to win the city title, Powers was a bit disappointed he didn’t shoot lower.
“I was kind of hoping for a bit better,” he said. “It’s a short course and I was hoping for around 70, but 74 was good enough to win, so I’ll take it.”
One team that took advantage of the course was Reeths-Puffer, which stunned everyone by winning the team championship by two strokes over perennial champion Mona Shores. The Sailors had won the championship 17 out of the last 18 years, including the last five.
The Reeths-Puffer golf team, comprised of juniors and sophomores, finished with a combined score of 331.
“It’s awesome,” said R-P head coach Chris Carter. “It’s been a tournament dominated by Shores, and we set out some goals this year to compete. I think that winning this shows that we’re able to compete with them.”
One player who stood out for the Rockets was sophomore Colby Beisheizen, who shot an 81 and finished fourth place in the individual competition.
“It’s great,” said Beisheizen about the team championship. “I’m happy with how I shot. I’m happy with the score, and we gave a really solid team effort. It shows we have a future ahead of us.”
The Rockets also had three other golfers finish in the top 10 – Zach Petroski (82, fifth place), Eli Pinter (83, tied for sixth) and Reid Sayles (85, 10th place). Drew Carter shot a 91 for Reeths-Puffer and finished 12th overall.
Part of the Rockets’ secret to success may be the fact that its boys golf team often practices with the R-P girls team, which Carter also coached to a city championship in the fall.
“I think we’re ready to go now,” said Carter. “We’re building our program for the boys and girls together. So we’re doing a lot of things together. Girls became champs in the fall and shores had that title for a long time, too. Now the boys have the championship and we have both.”
Rounding out the top ten individual scores in the tournament were Harris of North Muskegon (76, second place) Drake Cox of Mona Shores (80, third place), Tanner Gardenour of Ravenna (83, sixth place), Logan Armstrong of Mona Shores (83, sixth place), Isaiah Toelle of Whitehall (84, ninth place).
Team scores were Reeths-Puffer 331, Mona Shores 333, Whitehall 361, Ravenna 377, Western Michigan Christian 378, Muskegon Catholic 379, North Muskegon 382, Orchard View 412, Fruitport 423, and Montague 426.