Sabers host Portagers at Manistee National

Onekama’s Ben Johnson hits out of a sand trap on the par-3 No. 4 on Manistee National’s Canthooke Valley course on Thursday. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Despite rain in the forecast, Thursday afternoon turned out to be a great time for golf.

And the sunshine was welcomed by the Manistee Catholic Central and Onekama golf teams, who squared off in a non-conference match at Manistee National’s Canthooke Valley.

The Sabers were victorious on their home course, shooting a combined 186 to the Portagers’ 227.

“It was a nice day and we had a good match,” said MCC coach Denis Meikle. “Even though they aren’t in our conference anymore, we still like to keep in touch with Onekama. The kids know each other pretty well from other sports, so it’s always good to get together and play.”

MCC senior John Slivka carded the day’s low score with 40 while the Sabers’ Preston Picardat shot a 45, Alex Shriver a 49, and Jalen Tabaczka and Henry Hybza each shot a 52 to round out the team score (the combined total of the squad’s four lowest rounds). MCC’s Blake Johnson shot a 53, Mallory Meikle a 55 and Jenna Bialik a 62.

“This is the first week we’ve been able to get multiple matches in and some practice time, so it’s good to see our players get a little more time out there,” Meikle said. “I think we have a lot of room to improve from our scores today, but at the same time we’re seeing a lot more consistency, which is good.”

Onekama’s Travis Reed led the way for the Portagers with a 50 while Jackson Gutowski shot a 55 and Ben Johnson and Dalron Gray each shot 61.

“It’s still really early for us,” said Onekama coach Tom Bromley, “but it’s good to get out and get some play. And I’ll tell you what, Manistee National is in great shape.

“Today, I think our biggest weakness was getting the ball off the tee,” he said. “This course is pretty tight, and you can get into some trouble off the tee. That hurt our scores a bit today.”

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