Jonah Spates explodes for his best performance of the season at the Ranger Invitational

Jonah Spates explodes for his best performance of the season at the Ranger Invitational

As long as the best player knows when to hit the switch and as long as there are other role players to fill in the missing pieces, success in high school varsity golf is usually attainable. Senior Jonah Spates shot an 83 and added that much-needed depth to the boys varsity golf team at the Ranger Invitational on Thursday. In addition to adding some depth to the roster, Jonah excelled at lifting his team’s spirits in a somewhat new role this season as a leader.

“Jonah played a great round on Thursday; I think that made everyone on the team excited for him,” head coach Paul TenEyck said. “I’m excited to see what he can do in the match on Monday.”

The opportunity for Jonah to break out came when freshman Nicholas Notarnicola vomited halfway through the round of 18. Nicholas, FHC’s second most reliable source of points, had to withdraw and call it a day, which hurt the Rangers’ chances at placing high. Along with Nicholas’s late absence, junior Joe Murdock unraveled on the slippery greens in a downpour. His 39 putts on Thursday were the most putts he has attempted this season, so it’s safe to say that he wasn’t pleased by his play. 

“Even though I finished at the top of the team leaderboard next to Jonah with an 83, I wasn’t satisfied at all with my putting,” Joe said. “39 putts is horrible, so I putted pretty bad.”

There’s no question that Jonah sparked a late rally for the golfers in green; however, the endless groups of top-notch players from schools such as Rockford, Rochester Adams, and Hudsonville overcame the boys’ performance. Tying for second place, Jack Zubkus and Forest Hills Northern finished behind East Grand Rapids and Mona Shores. A few spots later, FHC ended its day in 10th place with a score of 346. 

Whatever the case may be—whether the boys finished in first or last, the discussion around more role players stepping up is already in motion. Next Monday, more Ranger golfers will have the same opportunity that Jonah had to put their ticket in the hat and step up for FHC at another OK White Jamboree featured at Railside Golf Club.