Change helps Whitaker qualify for state finals

NILES — For the past two and a half to three weeks, Dowagiac senior Greta Whitaker has raised her game on the golf course.

As a result, Whitaker helped Dowagiac win the Wolverine Conference South Division championship, finish second, after losing a playoff against Plainwell, at the Wolverine Conference Tournament and earn a spot in the Division 3 state finals Oct. 18-19 at The Meadows in Allendale.

Whitaker said that the recent change has been more about mindset than anything physical. She is not the biggest girl on the golf course, but due to work she has done in the weight room for both softball and golf, she is one of the longest hitters in the field.

But that is not what has made the difference recently.

“My mindset has changed,” she said after winning a one-hole playoff at the Division 3 regional at Orchard Hills Country Club Monday. “I have gotten a lot better mentally, not physically. That has helped me a lot.”

That has also led to being more confident on the golf course. The playoff hole was a perfect example. Whitaker had reached the ninth green on two shots during regulation and putted for an eagle. She came up a bit short, but made her next putt for a birdie.

When she teed it up on No. 9 for the playoff, she knew exactly what she wanted to do.

“It actually helped, because my drive was further than it was the first time,” Whitaker said.

When she reached her ball, she was confident she could get it up and down for the win.

“My mindset was I got it. I have it,” she said.

Whitaker is disappointed that she will not be making the trip to Grand Valley State University with her teammates for the state finals, but she is still looking forward to the finals.

“I am so excited,” she said. “It would have been a lot better to make it as a team, but this just as good. I still get the represent Dowagiac and that is exciting.”

Dowagiac coach Bob Turner shared Whitaker’s mixed emotions. He was thrilled for his senior, but disappointed that the entire team did not advance.

“The day ended really well,” she said. “I can’t even talk. They are done. I wanted so badly for them to go. Greta winning a playoff put a smile on everyone’s face.”

Turner has also seen the change in his senior.

“She really has stepped it up,” he said. “She definitely wants to play somewhere next year and she will. She is going to get a lot better when she moves on.”

Cass County

Cassopolis man rescued from Saddlebag Lake

News

Niles graduate retiring after 50 years with American Airlines

Cass County

County health department announces 1,500 COVID-19 vaccine appointments for ages 65 and older

Business

Wounded Minnow owner reacts to proposal to extend curfew, community support amid pandemic

Cass County

Two sentenced through Cass County’s Adult Treatment Court

Dowagiac

New Dowagiac police officers ready to serve community

Dowagiac

Dowagiac city manager provides update to Rotary

Cass County

Dowagiac man heading back to jail

Berrien County

Berrien, Cass businesses awarded Michigan Small Business Survival grants

Education

Eastside Connections seventh, eighth graders finish Black History Month virtual museum

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township installs dry hydrants

Education

EPS foundation awards physical education teacher $2,500

Cass County

Cass County Board of Commissioners to return to in-person meetings

Giving

Niles Service League’s annual Bundle-A-Buddy fundraiser kicks off on Monday

Buchanan

One Buchanan to host free online mental health forum on COVID-19 isolation, depression

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Cass counties report new COVID-19 deaths

Berrien County

Berrien County courts to enter Phase Three of reopening

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department expands access to COVID-19 vaccination

Cassopolis

Cassopolis Municipal Complex wins AIA Southwest Michigan Merit Award

Dowagiac

Warrant issued for Dowagiac man accused of possession of child sexually abusive material

Cass County

COA, Dowagiac District Library partner to launch new book club

News

Niles Master Plan to seek initial approval

Dowagiac

City of Dowagiac reports untreated wastewater discharge

Berrien County

Region prepares for farm workers with new precautions