If one were to pick a high school sport in which the schools in the Copper Country dominate the rest of the Upper Peninsula, hockey and girls basketball would probably make the list, while golf would probably be nowhere to be found.
And why would it. With only one 18-hole golf course in Houghton County, the shortest preseason practice period in the U.P. (and that's only assuming some of our local teams get the opportunity to get on a course before their first meet) and the poorest spring weather in the peninsula, it's a miracle our local high schools have golf teams at all, let alone dominate.
But dominate the Copper Country did.
Last week the U.P. High School Golf Championships were held at courses throughout the U.P.
Champions were crowned for both boys and girls in three different divisions based on school size.
Of the six champions crowned last week, an amazing four of them were from Houghton County high schools.
In the boys division, it was a Copper Country sweep with Houghton capturing the large-school Division 1, Hancock winning Division 2 and Jeffers taking the trophy in Division 3.
In the girls side of things the Gremlins completed the sweep in Division 1.
The region's dominance may be hard to explain. Certainly the summer youth golf program Mark Maroste has installed at Portage Lake Golf Course can be pointed to. The quality of coaches past and present surely can be offered up.
Maybe there's something in the water up here ... once the ice melts.
And while the area claimed four champions, nearly every other school in the region fielded competitive teams. What is obvious is the young men and women on our local golf teams have a great deal of pride and courage. Competing, and winning, often with little or no practice whatsoever.
We'd like to offer our congratulations to the newly-crowned U.P. Golf Champions. Words cannot express our pride in your accomplishments.