2 by 2: Jets retain title

ESCANABA – The Jeffers Jets shot their way past the competition at the boys’ Division 3 U.P. Golf Finals Thursday at the Escanaba Country Club. They were led by Stephen Butina, who shot an 80. The team’s highest score was just an 88, and they shot a combined 333 overall.

“Anytime you win the U.P. title, you are happy,” said Jeffers coach Jason Koski. “It’s a tough course with a lot of elevated greens, but we were consistent and that’s why we were able to win. The guys golf a lot and put a lot of time in during the summer, and that’s why they are successful.”

Following the Jets was Bessemer at 335, who had two golfers finish in the top five individually. Derek Gheller tied for second with a 78, and Kevin Gerovac tied for fourth with an 80.

“I was really surprised actually,” said Bessemer coach Mark Movrich. “We’ve had one meet and a practice and then we’re here at the U.P. Finals. I knew we had some good golfers, I just didn’t know what to expect. To come in second is a great accomplishment, and I’m really proud of them.

“It would have been nice to shave three strokes somewhere and get first place, but Jeffers had five guys within a few strokes of each other, and that’s pretty tough to beat.”

The North Central Jets finished in third with a team score of 344, and Tyler Polfus was eighth overall with a personal score of 82.

“All the boys came in at the mid to high 80’s, so I feel great,” said North Central coach Denise Porath. “We’ve been up and down all year, and I think the boys really came through. Some of the boys brought their strokes down by five or six, and that really helps.”

Munising rounded out the four spot with a 352, followed by St. Ignace and Cedarville with 352.

The top individual score for the day went to Michael McGrath of Watersmeet, who shot a 77. There were several competitors nipping at his heels, but his performance on the back nine helped to seal the deal.

“I had a good start, and I was able to finish well,” McGrath said. “I can’t believe it, honestly. Just one good day.”

Hunter Eichhorn of Carney-Nadeau tied with Gheller for second place. Although he had one of the top scores, Eichhorn said that he could have done much better.

“I didn’t chip well to begin with, and I wasn’t playing very well, but I didn’t feel very good,” he said. “It was alright, but there was a couple of places where I could have cut off a bunch of strokes. I could have done a lot better, but it is what it is.”

Trevor Ongie of Lake Linden-Hubbell put up a 79, which earned a fourth-place finish. After him, there was a three-way tie for fifth place between Butina of Jeffers, Gerovac of Bessemer, and Sam Eberts of Cedarville, who all shot 80.