news 4 days ago

Niles prepped for conference, regionals

Niles Daily Star, Mich. — Scott Novak Niles Daily Star, Mich.

May 16--NILES -- The Niles golf team is heading into the homestretch of its 2018 season.

The Vikings will compete in the SMAC Conference Tournament at Stonehedge North in Richland Wednesday.

The Vikings will then compete in the Battle Creek Lakeview Invitational May 21 before opening MHSAA postseason play at the Division 2 regional at the Marshall Country Club May 30.

Niles recently wrapped up SMAC West Division play in which Drew Rudlaff earned All-West Division honors.

Will Anderson and Rylen Matheison of Portage Central, Mason Dirlam and Ryan Guzzo of St. Joseph, along with Davis Longyear of Lakeshore, were also named first-team.

Anderson earned medalist honors for the West Division with a stroke average of 36.33.

Rudlaff finished with a stroke average of 40.66.

"Drew has worked hard on his game for the past two years," said Niles coach Dan Brawley. "Chuck Pullen, the pro at Orchard Hills, has helped Drew tremendously. Drew is not only a good player, he's a great teammate that gives advice to our younger players and encourages them with their game."

Rudlaff is also a standout in the classroom with a 3.7 GPA. He will graduate with honors from Niles New Tech Academy May 31.

A strong field awaits the Vikings at the regional, including regular season Wolverine Conference champion Edwardsburg.

Also in the field are Battle Creek Harper Creek, Battle Creek Pennfield, Benton Harbor, Charlotte, Coldwater, Eaton Rapids, Jackson-Northwest, Marshall, Parma-Western, Paw Paw, Gull Lake, St. Joseph, Lakeshore, Sturgis, Three Rivers and Vicksburg.

"Drew Rudlaff, Alex Krueger and Connor Tibbitts have all had rounds in the low 80s this year, and Thomas Nate and Zac Appleberry have shown they too can play well," Brawley said. "For us to do well at regionals, we will need to eliminate any 'blow up holes,' and play solid golf."


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