Christian Kenney (foreground) and Andrew  Leinonen of Menominee work on their swings during practice in the Menominee gym.  EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser
Christian Kenney (foreground) and Andrew Leinonen of Menominee work on their swings during practice in the Menominee gym.
EagleHerald/Tom Kaeser
MENOMINEE - The Menominee boys' golf team has challenged the ocean holes of Pebble Beach and the pot bunkers of St. Andrews.

Now the Maroons would like a chance to play their home course, the North Shore Golf Club.

The nasty spring weather has kept the Maroons indoors and the closest the team has come to playing real golf is the simulated courses at the Riverside Golf Club.

"It's been pretty tough," coach Lucas Chouinard said. "We're doing the best we can do until the courses open up. Riverside has been very accommodating to us. It was nice to play a simulated course."

The Maroons are scheduled to open their season April 16 at home against Gladstone.

"It's frustrating," Chouinard said. "Every day I look at the weather forecast. Maybe I'll stop doing that. It's depressing."

Just two strokes separated Menominee from winning the Great Northern Conference and U.P. titles last season.

Seniors Sam Schewe and Riley Hegg and sophomore Channing Modschiedler return from last year's team which placed third at the Division 1 U.P. Finals. The Maroons, Gladstone and Houghton tied with a 329 total at the Finals, but the Gremlins won the trophy on a tiebreaker.

Schewe fired an 83 at the championship meet and Hegg and Modschiedler both posted an 84.

Brandon Anderla, the Maroons' top finisher at the U.P.'s last season, has graduated.

Menominee finished second at the GNC meet last year, just one stroke behind Marquette. Schewe turned in a season-best round of 76 at North Shore to place the Maroons.

Schewe is usually true off the tee and puts himself into good scoring position with his strong iron work.

Hegg fell just one stroke off the medal stand at the GNC meet with his 81.

Brock Jersey also saw playing time with the varsity last season.

Chouinard, who took over the boys' team from Scott Martin, noted that senior Landen Maccoux should be a big plus after playing for St. Thomas Aquinas Academy last year.

"He's going to be a good addition to the team," said Chouinard. "He has a good swing. I'm definitely look for him to be a big contributor."

Freshmen Andrew Leinonen and Christian Kenney were still hitting balls into the net after practice finished Tuesday afternoon.

"They've put in a lot of work," the coach said. "They love the game. They're both looking good."

With 15 members on the team, Chouinard is pleased with the competition during the indoor drills.

"They've been putting in their time indoors and getting in their swing grooves," Chouinard noted. "It's pretty open right now (for varsity spots). It's tough to gauge right now. We'll see what happens when we get on the course."

Defending U.P. champion Houghton returns four of its top five players, Marquette has three sophomores who played varsity last year, and Gladstone also returns three varsity letterwinners. Escanaba and Kingsford should be much improved with most of their varsity players returning.