2006-05-20 / Sports

Student Golfers Form New Lakers Team

By Bernie Nguyen

The Lakers golf team includes (back, from left) Jason Pettit, Tyler Finkel, Coach Jeffery Ferguson, Kyle Sweet; (front) Tymon Horn and Paul Fisher. Not pictured are Caleb Straight and Thomas Rilenge. The Lakers golf team includes (back, from left) Jason Pettit, Tyler Finkel, Coach Jeffery Ferguson, Kyle Sweet; (front) Tymon Horn and Paul Fisher. Not pictured are Caleb Straight and Thomas Rilenge. Student interest has led to the formation of a school golf team after six years without one. High school health and science teacher Jeffery Ferguson, who moved to the Island last August, has taken on the role of coach.

The seven team members have a range of ability and experience, and include eighth graders to seniors. Practice began at Grand Hotel's The Jewel golf course downtown, but will move to Wawashkamo for the rest of the school year.

Mr. Ferguson became coach to help out.

"They were basically looking for a volunteer," he said of the school board. "I don't have a lot of golf experience, but I'm willing to learn, if the kids are."

Craig Bunker, a Mackinac Island High School graduate who is a substitute teacher at the school, is also helping out with the team.

School Board President Ben Mosley said golf is a worthy addition to the school's athletic program.

"Basically, any chance we can give the kids is another opportunity," he said, adding that golf is a unique sport in that it requires abilities aside from simple strength or speed.

The team has already played one match against Pickford this season and will play in two more off-island tournaments before the end of the year. In addition, the Lakers may host the Grand Marais Polar Bears.

Following Mackinac Island's lead, other small schools in Northern Michigan have expressed interest in golf, and a league may be formed.

Mackinac Island's young golfers enjoyed their competition with Pickford, said Mr. Ferguson.

"None of our kids have played a tournament before, so they had the jitters," he said. "But they were definitely playing better by the end of the tournament. I really think most of them had a good time."

As for next year, he said, "We'll be losing two of the seniors, but I'm hoping that we can get maybe eight to 10 kids on the team next year. There appears to be a lot of talent in the younger members of the team, so we expect a lot of good things in the future."

Mr. Ferguson also said that the team would probably play twice the number of tournaments if interest continues next year.

"The kids have been having a good time with it," he said, adding that people with golf experience who would like to help out with the team, or simply donate golf balls, should call him at the school.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2006-05-20 digital edition