Schmanski places in top 10 at Alpena Golf Invite

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Alpena’s Jack Schmanski sinks a putt during the Alpena Golf Invite on Tuesday at River’s Edge Golf Club. Schmanski finished the day tied for fifth, shooting a 79.

The Alpena High boys golf team couldn’t have asked for better conditions or a better day to host its annual Alpena Golf Invite as the Wildcats welcomed 16 total teams to River’s Edge Golf Club on Tuesday.

Along with Alpena, the other five Big North Conference teams competed–Gaylord, Traverse City West, Traverse City Central, Petoskey and Cadillac– along with Cheboygan, Alcona and Ogemaw Heights. Some schools also had JV teams competing in the event.

“We could not have bought better weather that’s for sure. The course was in absolutely perfect conditions and River’s Edge does a fantastic job,” Alpena coach Eric Mitchell said. “We are getting better every week and so is every other school. It’s a very competitive year in the Big North and unfortunately we’re not right up there. The competition we had today is going to make us better and I think that’s part of the reason we have gotten better because we are playing against people who are better every single day.”

At the end of the day, Gaylord won the invite with 135 points, but Alpena’s Jack Schmanski was among the best golfers of the day as he finished in the top 10 and tied for the fifth best score on the day, shooting a 79.

“Jack Schmanski is playing some very good golf right now, but we’re struggling to get those three other scores to where we need them to be and that has brought things down for us,” Mitchell said. “Jack is playing good, but we still have three weeks to be playing our best golf as a team at the end.”

Schmanski tied with Gaylord’s Kyle Putnam and Cadillac’s Aiden Raffaele and Harry Chipman.

Cheboygan’s Zach Gildner took first, shooting a 75, just edging out Gaylord’s Brendan Gouin and Joe Konatch who each shot a 76.

“There were probably seven or eight kids that were out on our course today that are going to play college golf and maybe as many as 10 and that says a lot about the conference we play in and it’s things like that, seeing those kind of players that will help our guys get better too,” Mitchell said.

Along with Schmanski, Alpena’s other top golfers were Matt Hoos (88), Keegan Mathews (96), Gavin Reed (111), Charlie Halleck (113) and Jimmy Bolanowski (120).

“Our goal coming into the day was for this to be our lowest score of the year. Everyone on our team has played this course enough and it is a challenging course, but if you know it, you have an advantage,” Mitchell said. “The ultimate goal for us is just to keep improving and getting better each and every day and so far we have. We continue to improve and our scores continue to get better and hopefully as the weather and conditions improve, we’ll continue getting better and be playing our best golf when we need to three weeks from now in regionals.”