Grosse Pointe North’s boys golf team has returned to practice in preparation for a brand new season.
Last season, North finished in third place in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division with a record of 2-3, and although it did make it out of districts, the Norsemen didn’t make it past the regional portion of the state playoffs.
Coach Brian Stackpoole has different ideas in mind for this year’s campaign.
“Our goal, every year, is make it to the state finals — every year,” he said. “They’re very excited, ready to go. We have individual goals we set up with the kids, and then we have team goals. Team goals for sure are make the state finals, win the league and win a tournament.”
The opportunity to try to earn a spot in the state finals will come in June, which is when the regional playoffs are scheduled. In the meantime, in order to achieve Stackpoole’s goal of coming away with a league championship, North will have to contend with opponents in the MAC Red, which could, arguably, be considered the most competitive division in the MAC.
Stackpoole has a pretty good idea as to the type of competition that awaits the Norsemen.
“I think it’s (going to) be really competitive,” he said. “(Utica) Eisenhower’s excellent. They return pretty much their whole team. They’ll be very strong. (Grosse Pointe) South will be very strong. Looking forward to another competitive year.”
Solid senior leadership can go a long way toward helping a team achieve its full potential, and Stackpoole thinks he has just that in Steven Zak and Garrett Freismuth.
“What we really (want to) do is have them help out other players, as far as the mental preparation for a match and what you can expect,” he said. “Keeping your composure and fighting ’til the very end. I think our seniors are great examples of that. Both Steven Zak (and) Garrett Freismuth are kids that are really calm.”
Stackpoole considers the golf tradition at North to be a good one, and he thinks his players are aware of it and would like to do their part to help carry it on.
“We’ve had a lot of great players come through,” he said. “We look at what other kids have shot, what we have done as a school in the past and what we need to do to continue that tradition.”
North is scheduled to open its season at 3 p.m. April 10 against Utica Ford at
Lochmoor Club in Grosse Pointe Woods.