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Preview: Golf Gears Up For Pivotal 2015-16 Campaign

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DETROIT — With two years in the rearview for the program, Marygrove golf will look to take another step forward in 2015-16 by leaning on veteran leadership and an influx of new talent. The 2015-16 campaign is being viewed as a pivotal season in the eyes of head coach Frank McAuliffe, assistant coach Ronnie Pollack, Jr. and the players – a group that believes this year could be provide a huge momentum swing for the program.

The fall portion of the upcoming season begins Saturday (Sept. 5) as Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) competition gets underway in Wyoming, Mich. at LE Kaufman Golf Club. The opening WHAC Jamboree is hosted by Aquinas College.

The season continues with WHAC Jamboree’s Two and Three on Tuesday (Sept. 8) and Wednesday (Sept. 9) as the new-look Mustangs look to start the season successfully against their conference counterparts. From there, the Green and Gold play two more events in the month of September, one more WHAC Jamboree hosted by Lawrence Tech on the 18th and a two-day non-conference outing in Ada, Mich. on Sept. 28-29.

Action resumes Oct. 5-6 at the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) Fall Invite before the fifth and final WHAC Jamboree of the fall pops up on the schedule Oct. 14. The fall campaign concludes with a non-conference event at the Spring Arbor University Fall Classic on Oct. 19.

Michael Kanalas (Rives Junction, Mich./Jackson Northwest High School) and Tyler Newell (Livonia, Mich./Dearborn Divine Child High School) return as the team’s leaders in 2015. Now juniors, Kanalas and Newell have been staples of Marygrove golf since their arrival in 2013 and are responsible for two of the three lowest rounds in program history.

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Last season, Kanalas posted the best round of any Mustang with a four-over 76 at WHAC Jamboree Three on Oct. 6, 2014. The round was good for the second lowest score in the brief history of Marygrove golf. Overall, Kanalas posted an average round of 87.25 through seven events.

Newell checks in right alongside Kanalas with a 2014-15 round average of 87.63. The junior posted a career-best round of 80 (+8) last year at the Lawrence Tech University Fall Invite on Sept. 22, 2014 at Southfield’s Plum Hollow Golf Club. The score showcased Newell’s resiliency as he bounced back on the latter 18 to post the career-best mark after enduring the worst round of 18 in his collegiate career earlier in the day in the 36-hole event.

The Mustangs will rely on new additions for full-time assistance after Kanalas and Newell, led by newcomers Alex Cavazos, Darryl Holtz and Travis Tarrence. The team returns Ryan Plonka (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Macomb CC) and Austin Valentine (Westland, Mich./John Glenn High School) but in a part-time role. Both Plonka and Valentine are members of the men’s soccer team and will compete around the schedule of their main sport.

“We expect big things out of Mike [Kanalas] and Tyler this year,” said assistant coach Ronnie Pollack, Jr. “They are skilled players who have a chance to make a big impact in the WHAC this season. I look forward to seeing what our new guys bring to the table this season and over the course of the next few years. We should be a much improved team this year once we get everyone in the system and ready to play.”

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GOLF CONTACT: Tim Johnston | [email protected]/* */ | @tjohnston56
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Category: Men's Golf

Today - 20 May 2024