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Almont golf wins ninth title despite conference-wide improvement

With eight consecutive league titles, Almont has set the standard for boys golf within the BWAC. And while the Raiders still managed to capture number nine on Monday, they were challenged to raise their standard even higher.

Last season they won with a team score of 340 with Yale in second at 375 –there was no questioning their victory.

The Almont boys golf team after winning the BWAC championship at Holly Meadows. (Courtesy | Mark Bone)

This season, however, both Croswell-Lexington and North Branch shot under 340 (333 and 335, respectively), pushing Almont to shoot a 313 to maintain their championship status.

“The first match of the year was a shock,” junior Cam Bourdeau said. “Me and Manny [Goldstein] were really the only two returning players and we struggled, but it didn’t really seem like it’d matter…That wasn’t the case. We lost by a lot to Richmond and Cros-Lex so that was eye-opening.”

After losing their first match of the season, the Raiders locked in and won five of the next six matches, but Cros-Lex, North Branch, and Richmond were never far behind, just like in Monday’s 18-hole championship at Holly Meadows.

Richmond finished fourth at 348, Armada was fifth (365), Yale took sixth (390), and Imlay City rounded out the scoring at 486.

“It helped me realize we were really going to have to focus,” Bourdeau said of the first match. “In years past we could coast through the conference and then focus on regionals, but really the important thing was conference and that was realy big for us that the conference was strong because then we had to be focused all year long.”

Bourdeau led the Raiders for a majority of the season and continued to do so in the championship, shooting a 73 to earn the BWAC MVP honor for the second straight year. He said while the individual honor is nice, he’s more glad to have won as a team.

“It means definitely more as a team. I can play well and lead our team, but at the end of the day, it's about how our team plays as a whole,” he said. “If I go out and shoot par, which I can’t to do, but if I could and I did that every day, it wouldn't really matter if our team struggled as a whole.

“We’re like a family…This year I had two matches where I played really poorly and I didn’t even score for us, but they were there to pick me up so it means much more to me to win as a team than individually, but I’m still very happy I played well.”

He said he’s played with North Branch senior Will Damaska and Cros-Lex junior Braylon Anson for the last two years, and this season he noticed great improvement.

“They’re good, they are two good guys and I enjoy playing with them, but I still get nervous because they’re always pushing me, especially this year. They were both a lot better than last year,” Bourdeau said. “Braylon beat me three times and Will beat me two or three times as well, so it was nice that they could push me more this year.”

Damaska led the Broncos in fourth place with a 79, while Anson shot an 86 for 14th. Senior Zachary Kroetsch led the Pioneers in second overall with a 74.

Representing Almont in the top five along with Bourdeau, senior Clayton Roszczewski shot a 75 for third and Goldstein was fifth with an 81. Senior Timothy McClelland led Yale in sixth at 82 while Armada junior Aidan Roberts and Richmond junior Logan Northam led their respective teams at 84 in a tie for ninth.

The regional championships are up next for these teams on May 30. Almont, Armada, Imlay City, and Richmomd will compete in the Division 3, Region 17 championship at the Hark Hallow Golf Course in Bath, while Cros-Lex, North Branch, and Yale will be at the Division 2 Region 11 championship at Huron Meadows Metro Park in Brighton.


For in-game updates and other news, follow Calli on Twitter @ newberry_calli

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