Dowagiac earns academic all-state for third straight year

Published 5:57 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2023

DOWAGIAC — For the third straight year, the Dowagiac boys golf team has earned Division 3 Academic All-State from the Michigan Interscholastic Golf Coaches Association.

To earn Academic All-State, the combined GPA of the five players who competed in their respective regional are counted toward the award.  A minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale is automatically calculated.

Players who have all A(s) receive bonus points based on their grade level — 4.05 for sophomores, 4.10 for juniors and 4.15 for seniors. Dowagiac’s GPA was 3.678.

This year, Dane Spagnoli, Luke Spagnoli, Travis Rehborg and Kaden Sandora joined Abraham Guernsey on the Academic All-State team with a combined GPA of 3.678, which was second highest in Division 3 behind state champion Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s 3.780.

Guernsey was also honored with individual Division 3 Academic All-State. He has a GPA of 4.0.

To earn individual honors, a player must be a senior with a minimum of two years on the golf team. They must have a GPA of 3.85 or above to be named all-state. Those with a GPA of 3.75 to 3.84 earn honorable mention all-state.

“Icing on the cake,” said Dowagiac Coach Bob Turner, whose team played in the Division 3 state finals last weekend. “We had such a special year it would have been a shame not to get academic all-state. It is one of the goals we have at the beginning of the year every year.  We have always stressed the importance of grades first.”

Turner said earning the honor is just not about doing well in the classroom.

“As always, it is a testament to the family support that our teams have,” he said. “It really showed when we were at Forest Akers last weekend for the state tournament, every one of our guys had a gallery. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. It was really nice to see that level of support.”

Getting an individual academic all-stater this this season even more special.

“Abraham was one of the Valedictorians of the class of 2023 and was awarded Academic All-State as an individual,” Turner said. “It is only awarded to seniors that have played at least two years of varsity golf. It was a good way for Abraham to end his career, especially since his varsity career started with a canceled season because of COVID.”