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Gremlins earn seventh U.P. title in final 11 years | News, Sports, Jobs


Jun 3, 2023
Gremlins earn seventh U.P. title in last 11 years | News, Sports, Jobs

The Houghton Gremlins boys golf group won the U.P. championship at Sweetgrass Golf Course on Wednesday in Harris. Pictured (from left): Ryan Schmierer, Camden Markham, Marino Pisani, Cooper Leonard, Jack Sayen, and coach Corey Markham. (Offered photo)

HOUGHTON — Regularly by way of the mid-to-late 1990s, the Houghton Gremlins boys golf group was in contention year in and year out for the Upper Peninsula title, but could not uncover strategies to get more than that proverbial hump and get the finish they have been hunting for.

Quick forward to the final 11 years. With their win on Wednesday at Sweetgrass Golf Course in Harris, the Gremlins have now won seven of the final 11 titles, and a single of the years exactly where they did not win was a season lost due to COVID.

Coach Corey Markham could not be much more proud of the way his group continues to carry out, year following year.

“Our golf system has been so sturdy in the final about ten, 11 years,” he mentioned. “This group was an additional just strong, strong group. The cause, I feel, for our achievement more than the final 11 years is (that) we’ve just had wonderful depth.

“Not a lot of schools are capable to go 5 deep, and have constant play. That is what we have fairly regularly. So, it is been a wonderful run.”

In higher college golf, the scoring program is related to what you would in group sports like cross nation, swimming, and track and field, whilst it is a luxury to have that student athlete who can beat the complete field, if you are hunting for group achievement, it comes from possessing numerous athletes who can compete at a fairly higher level.

“There’s diverse strategies of having to a excellent group score,” Corey mentioned. “Some years, it is exactly where you have your true stud golfer that shoots about par, and the other guys are in the mid-90s to a tiny bit greater. But, you are capable to afford that when you have that genuinely low score.

“With our group ideal now, Marino Pisani has been our No. 1 golfer, and he’s in contention, often, to win the complete point, but he hasn’t been about par at the U.P.s. The distinction in between our No. 1 golfer and our No. five is just a couple of strokes. They’ve been regularly that way for most of the year. That is been amazing for our group.”

Pisani has been on fairly a run with the Gremlins. In 2021, he completed tied for seventh, shooting 80 at Sweetgrass. Final season, at Sage Run, he completed second with a 78. So, he has been in contention, as Corey mentioned, but much more importantly, the rest of the group has also been quite competitive.

Pisani is a golf fanatic, as Corey puts it.

“He spends tons of time,” Corey mentioned. “He operates at the course, plus if he’s not functioning, he’s attempting to play as significantly as he can. In golf, as significantly as something, to be excellent, you have to play golf a lot, and Marino does that.”

In truth, all of the Gremlins’ leading performers are like that.

“Our leading golfers have often just been fanatics, exactly where they will play a ton,” mentioned Corey. “There will be a lot of them exactly where we’d get back from a meet, like down in West Iron or some thing, they get in their automobile and go ideal to Portage (Lake Golf Course) and play an additional round when we get back.

“That’s what it requires to be excellent, and we’ve had a wonderful group like that.”

Of course, playing a leading level course like Sweetgrass can bring out the greatest in golfers as nicely.

“It’s a tremendous course,” Corey mentioned. “It’s my favourite a single of all the major-name ones in the U P., due to the fact it is fair. Youngsters are nevertheless capable to play. It is fairly wide open, so you do not have to be true straight off the tee, but they have difficult greens, and it is a championship-level golf course.Our children play wonderful on that.”

Pisani and Jack Sayen paced the Gremlins at Sweetgrass with each players shooting 80. Ryan Schmierer was just a single stroke back at 81, and Camden Markham shot 82. The fifth player, whose score did not count towards the group score, was Cooper Leonard, who shot 84. So, all 5 Gremlins shot inside 4 strokes of every single other.

Corey credits the junior golf system at the Portage Lake Golf Course, run, at the time, by Mark Maroste and Paul Sinkowski, with getting a springboard for his team’s achievement in current years.

“Every single a single of our Leading five all played in the junior system,” he mentioned. “They took lessons with the junior system coming up. When I appear at the roster of all 14 on our group, they have all been there at some point. So that is a major, major component of our achievement.”

Like players like Jiseung Choi or Gunnar Stein, who have moved on to play college golf along with Wyatt Liston at Saginaw Valley State, Corey feels that his existing crop of players are motivated to continue creating upon the achievement of prior teams and players.

“I feel when you have achievement in a system, the children that are coming up want to emulate that achievement,” mentioned Corey. “That’s component of the recipe we have right here.”

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