Saline, Pioneer stay perfect in SEC boys golf with Wednesday quad wins
Saline High School boys golf coach Debbie Williams-Hoak has a team full of perfectionists.
But, in golf especially, that’s an asset.
Saline shot a 160 as it kept its perfect SEC season going in a quad meet Wednesday afternoon at the University of Michigan golf course.
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Caleb Wittig and Ian Martin both shot 39, tied for the lowest scores among the 24 golfers in the course, while James Alcock and Matt DeIrala shot 41.
“It’s OK,” Wittig said of his total.
Williams-Hoak by now has grown accustomed to her players rarely being satisfied with their performances.
“The guys have high expectations, because they’ve experienced how well they can play,” Williams-Hoak said. “Being a bit of perfectionists and letting the nature of the game kind of destroy you a little bit, they get disappointed when they should be happy. It’s a process, try to get better every day.”
Pioneer shot a 170 and like Saline finished 2-0 in duals against Dexter and Chelsea. The Dreadnaughts shot 176 and Chelsea shot 186.
The Hornets are looking to repeat as SEC champions, following up on a year that included a district title and regional runner-up finish.
But at last year's Division 1 state meet, the Hornets finished a disappointing ninth.
“Each player seemed to have their own little story of something weird that happened to them that hadn’t happened all season, things totally out of character,” Williams-Hoak said. “That’s states.”
Three of the players from that team -- Wittig, Martin and Ryan Peruski -- are back this year, and hoping they’ve learned from that experience.
“We feel really good about our team this year and our chances,” Wittig said. “We played pretty good in our quad yesterday and I think we’re definitely moving forward, and hopefully we’ll be able to peak during playoffs.”
And this year, ninth place won’t be good enough.
“They want some revenge, because going into states they were playing well and it didn’t work out for them and they’re not happy about it,” Williams-Hoak said. “It’s been a year-long motivator to get back there for them.”
Pioneer also stayed unbeaten in league play with its 2-0 performance -- it won’t face Saline until the end of the year at Tecumseh -- with consistent scores across the board. All six Pioneer golfers on the course Wednesday shot between 42 and 45.
Sam Kidd, Matt Faunce and Davis Argersinger each shot 42 to lead the Pioneers.
“That’s what I’ve been looking for is to just to keep these numbers steady,” Pioneer coach Patrick Slater said. “We haven’t had any ups and downs, which has been nice.”
Like the rest of the teams in the area, Pioneer was kept indoors through a cold and wet spring. But despite the truncated scheduled that had his team practicing in the cafeteria most days, Slater said he likes the gradual improvement he’s seen from his squad.
“I’m really happy with the way things are going,” Slater said.