Improving at home

Wildcats put together strong showing in home invite

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Alpena’s Evan LeTourneau tees off on hole No. 9 in the Alpena Wildcat Invitation on Thursday at River’s Edge Golf Club.

It was a solid day on the course for the Alpena boys golf team as the Wildcats continue improving each time out.

The Wildcats hosted the annual Alpena Wildcat Invitational held at River’s Edge Golf Club on Thursday.

“We started the season a little slow, but we have really played well as of late. A lot of our guys are really starting to play to their potential every time and not just once in a while,” Alpena coach Eric Mitchell said. “It’s great to be able to host so many teams. Having all of the Big North teams along with a few others is nice and having an entire day where River’s Edge gives us the entire day to come out here and golf is awesome.”

A total of nine teams competed at the annual event. Along with Alpena, the other five Big North Conference teams, Gaylord, Cadillac, Petoskey, Traverse City West and Traverse City Central were all competing along with Alcona, Cheboygan and Ogemaw Heights.

Despite a tough day on the course weather-wise with a steady wind and rain that delayed part of the afternoon, the Wildcats put together a solid score shooting a 336.

“The wind got more and more powerful throughout the day and it made it tough to gauge, but everyone has to play in it not just us. Other than the wind, early in the morning it was beautiful and even though we had the rain delay it was overall a nice day,” Mitchell said. “Our scores were a little higher, but talking to other coaches it seemed like everyone’s were higher because of the conditions. Overall I thought we had many solid performances throughout the day.”

Alpena’s Zach Ross missed out on a first place finish by just three strokes and took fifth after a rocky start and finished even through his last eight holes to end with a score of 79. Evan LeTourneau came in seventh with a score of 81. Tommy Hein and Jake Vought finished with scores of 88. Sean Stevens finished with a score of 93 and Jon Stone ended with a 99.

“Our scores are getting better each week. We started in the 360’s, a couple weeks ago we were in the 350’s and last week we were in the 330’s and to see the improvement is a huge confidence booster for our guys and the entire team,” Mitchell said. “Our top four have played well all season and we have rotated our five and six throughout the season because we have a lot more competition on this years team which is a good thing. Knowing that going or traveling is not a guarantee it makes kids way more competitive in practice and that has made us better all around.”

Gaylord finished the day with a team best 327, West finished with 329, Central ended with 331, Petoskey had a score of 333. Ogemaw tied with Alpena with a 336. Cheboygan finished with a 343, Cadillac ended with a 349 and Alcona ended with a score of 418.

Jonny Zawacki can be reached via email at jzawacki@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5690.