Area golf coaches not in favor of tournament change
Published 8:29 am Tuesday, May 17, 2016
The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Representative Council at its spring meeting May 1-2 in Glen Arbor, voted to make a change to the state golf tournament.
The council approved a committee recommendation to add a sixth regional tournament for the lower peninsula for both goys and girls, allowing three more teams and three more individual players to quality for the state tournament.
At the same time, the council voted to eliminate the district round of the boys tournament as recommended by the golf committee.
The change will bring the field for both boys and girls to 108 players.
Not all the area golf coaches are excited about the change.
Edwardsburg’s Jeff Kozinski, who has been the Eddies’ coach since 1998, remembers how difficult it was to advance to the state tournament when there were only regionals.
“We had a team tie for third,” he said. “It went to the fifth-man and we lost by a couple of strokes. It was very tough on those young men. With that being said, I’m in favor of keeping the districts and regionals the way it is now. Having districts allows more athletes to stay involved.
“Student athletes earn an opportunity to get a feeling of accomplishment by advancing. After all, school sports are one of many ways to help youth build self-confidence needed in life. If the state chooses to do away with districts, I’m confident our program will make necessary adjustments to do our best to advance in the tournament.”
Buchanan coach Amelio Rodriguez is also not in favor of the change.
“I don’t like the changes because some of the players set regionals as a goal that they feel is attainable to reach, and it’s a sense of accomplishment,” Buchanan coach Amelio Rodriguez said. “By everyone making it to regionals it takes away that goal they feel is attainable since it’s harder to get to state for the average player.”
Dowagiac coach Bob Turner agrees with both of them.
“I am disappointed that they are making the change,” he said. “Doing away with districts takes away the opportunity for many young athletes to have a feeling of accomplishment and something to shoot for outside of conference. Some schools don’t have a conference or are the smallest school in their conference, having districts gives them the opportunity to feel like they did something.”
“Having a good showing at districts and missing regionals still gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Some sports have pre-districts and then districts, getting knocked out in regionals after winning districts your season had success, maybe you did not reach the ultimate goal, but a lot of schools are proud of their district championships.”