Jack Brockie of Hanover-Horton High School earned medalist honors with a 37 at the first Cascades Conference jamboree at Lakeland Hills Golf Course.
By Jeff Steers
Brockies and Spinks.
The two families – sometimes forged into one – have carried the Hanover-Horton High School boys’ golf program the last decade.
That came to a culmination last year when the Comets won the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 3 state title in a classic battle with Big Rapids.
The Comets will hope to defend that state title beginning in May and June, but they will be without a Spink on the team for the first time in a number of years.
Winning a state title in 2018 will have to suffice for now.
“Earning a state title with that group was a better feeling than winning any individual tournament,” HHHS Coach Mike Brockie said. “Having three nephews and one son on the team made it special.
“Winning like we did also gave us an appreciation for the fifth man on the team.”
Both teams tied with identical scores for two days last year in the state final at Forest Akers West near the campus of Michigan State University. The winning two-day score for the Comets was 651.
Hanover-Horton shot a four-man total of 321 on Friday of the final and woke up to a rainy day on Saturday.
Head Coach Mike Brockie said the MHSAA decided to play in the rain hoping to reach a conclusion on Saturday.
“We went up for a practice round on Thursday and it was beautiful,” Coach Brockie said. “Friday was windy and Saturday brought a downpour.”
But the Comets were prepared with rain gear, towels, dry shoes.
“It was a grind-it-out kind of day,” Coach Brockie said.
Player Jack Brockie, Mike’s nephew, said Coach Brockie is always making sure players are prepared for everything.
“He made sure we were ready for anything on Saturday,” Jack Brockie said. “We had great team with four players who could be considered No. 1s.”
And the Comets played like it.
Brodie Spink led the Comets with a two-day total of 159. That score earned him a medal for finishing in the top 10.
But the remaining three golfers were within eight shots of that giving the Comets a big push toward the top. Garret Spink shot 161, Brogan Brockie finished with 164, and Jack Brockie shot 167.
Fifth man Kyler Rod shot a two-day total of 182 – playing better in the rain on Saturday – giving Hanover-Horton the title. The first tiebreaker was fifth-man score and Rod was six shots better than Big Rapids’ fifth man.
“It was awesome to win a state title with three of my cousins,” Jack Brockie said. “Hopefully we can make it back to the state meet this year.”
The Comets are young with only one senior on the varsity team at this point. With team like Lumen Christi, Lansing Catholic and Napoleon in their region, the Comets may struggle.
Case in point, Napoleon won the first Cascades Conference jamboree Tuesday at Lakeland Hills Golf Course. The Pirates shot a four-man total of 160 to defeat the Comets by 13 shots.
“It has been a while since we have had pressure from other teams in our conference, let alone in the region,” Coach Brockie said. “Our fifth and sixth men will struggle to push the first four.
“That hasn’t been the case in previous years.”
Winning the state title will have its perks for the Comets. Hanover-Horton was invited to play in an invitational on April 29 at Oakland Hills – a course that has hosted six U.S. Opens on the PGA Tour.
Cascades Conference jamboree April 16
At Lakeland Hills
Michigan Center 204
East Jackson 209
Grass Lake 210
Vandercook No team score
Top 10 individuals
Jack Brockie HH 37
Shane Warner Nap 38
Tyler Stassines Nap 39
Hunter West Nap 40
Isaac Klintworth MC 41
Brogan Brockie HH 42
Evan Brzyski Nap 43
Keaton Cooper GL 44
Thomas Deliyanne HH 46
Shawn Bingman Add 47