By Maharishi School Golf Coach Ed Hipp
Congratulations to Pioneer Golf Team Captain Mickey DeAngelis! He is a District Qualifier … again. For the second year in a row, Mickey tied for fourth place at the Sectional Championship in order to move on to the second of the three rounds of the State Championship. Since only the top four individual scores and ties advanced, it was nip and tuck all the way. Last year it was an 84 that moved him along at Deerwood GC in New London. As it turned out, this year he had to shoot an 82. And boy did it seem like he knew it. After a slow start, he came on strong to finish with six pars on the last six holes to barely make it.
Mickey has been working on how to break out of a season long habit of scoring high in the beginning of a match and having to bounce back at the end. But by Sectionals last Thursday, May 16, he was still searching for the key to a good start. Consequently, he started with a double bogey on the first hole and a triple bogey on Deerwood’s challenging second hole. But once again, having dug himself into a hole, he knew how to get out of it. His birdie on number eight kept him in the running with a precarious 43 on the front nine, along with seven other players who were in contention to finish in the top four. His string of back nine pars left him tied coming into the last two holes with two of the other players who were vying for the qualifying spots and were in his group. Mickey’s two clutch pars beat out the bogey/bogey finish by one of them and the par/bogey finish by the other member of this pressure packed foursome.
Thus was written another chapter in the DeAngelis family golf saga. For Mickey is but one of many, the last card dealt to me in what I now call my Royal DeAngelis Flush. Five DeAngeli kids have played through the mill of the SGA Rangers Junior Golf Program and the Maharishi School Pioneer Golf Team. Every one of them has had a great career in junior golf and is now applying the lessons learned to build great life careers as adults.
In celebration of that beautiful family dharma, Mickey and I drove to Michigan immediately after the tournament for the wedding of his brother John. What a fun and gratifying road trip. Upon arriving at John’s house in Grand Rapids late Friday night, I sat down on his couch, only to be piled on for a group photo by all five of these brothers and sisters who have contributed so much richness and joy to my 26 years coaching junior golf.
That blissed out head sticking up in the sea of DeAngeli is me. From left to right is Laura, John, me, Mickey, and Monica. With Paul in the front, using the rest of us as an improv prop.
Laura got it started being an intrepid girl who dared play along with the original Rangers who started our team. This, of course lead to a career as a school teacher. Monica partnered with Sarah Sica to inspire a whole bunch of girls to form their own team and almost went to state. That prepared her to be a career counselor in Chicago. John is the only player that we’ve ever had who went to state by himself as an individual qualifier. So now he is a director of sustainability for Steel Case. Paul tried to avoid the family golf heritage, but qualified for Districts as an individual in spite of himself. Now he is the captain of his improv team at Aquinas University. I have watched from my vantage point as they have all grown into powerful spirits. And now Mickey puts the icing on the sumptuous cake of this DeAngelis Dynasty.
Late Friday night, on wedding eve, during the traditional family horse shoe match, Mickey was faced with a win/lose toss in his game against John. As the big brother, John was obligated, despite his happiness in Mickey’s sectional performance, to start trash talking Mickey as he prepared to throw the shoe. “Oh, yeah, Mickey, don’t think about number two at Deerwood with the water hazard on the right side of the green and the out of bounds on the left. No don’t think about that on this throw … “ I could tell John was well practiced at getting in his younger brother’s head and that he would go on and on until Mickey was ready to choke. But right in the middle of the teasing rant, Mickey just threw the shoe for a perfect ringer and the win. Bouya! Family dynamics be blessed.
Indigenous tribes have their rites of passage into adulthood. But we sometimes over look the moments that our culture provides for us to recognize that we are “all growed up.” Mickey’s not overlooking this one. And neither am I.
Basking in the happy glow of this family during John’s wedding in Michigan, I was overwhelmed with what nature and nurture has created in them. The joyfulness, the family connectedness, the dedication to rich successful lives … I rejoice when I witness these things in one person. But how do five of these outstanding beings come from one family? Parents? Maharishi School? Karma? Nah … it’s probably being on the golf team. There’s just something about the education that occurs during the van rides to and from matches that can’t be equaled.
Mickey will now move on to play in the District Championship at Oskaloosa GC in Oskaloosa on Thursday, May 22. He is very focused on giving his best there in hopes of going to State as John did. He put in an exhaustive six hour practice session on the Osky course last Sunday and went again yesterday.
Whatever happens in Oskaloosa, the grail cup is already secured for this strong and wise young man. And for this dynamic and actualized family. And for this happy coach, as I feel my gratitude to Maharishi School and parents Dick and Karen for dealing me this winning hand.
I think that it’s appropriate to focus on Mickey’s individual success because golf has been a singular focus for him for many years. And part of that focus for him has always been to encourage the team and the other players for whom golf is not as high a priority. So let us now celebrate the team’s success in this tournament.
The team saved its best match of the year for the last. Our score of 401 tied our season’s best shot during Conference at Shaeffer. And the back nine 188 beat our previous best of 194 by six strokes.
Brandon Prather Huff shot his best nine and eighteen hole scores of the season by several strokes.
Doga Ozesmi shot his best nine and eighteen hole scores of the season.
Philip Winer had his best nine hole score of the season.
Though Nathaniel Zhu and Anthony Zhou didn’t set personal records, they played near the top of their game.
I’ll conclude this report with a comment from Holy Trinity Coach Paul Wilkerson. He is retiring after this season from a long and successful career coaching high school golf at Winfield-Mt. Union and Holy Trinity. When he asked me to step aside to speak with him while the scores were being counted at Sectional, I thought about his retiring and how gracious he has always been to me. About how he was the first coach to ask me how to properly pronounce "Maharishi" back when I first started coaching. Here’s what he said to me in that crowded, noisy scorekeeping area, “I feel that one of the privileges of my coaching career has been to get to know you and your players. Through the years, I’ve always noticed that, whether you had great players or less skilled players, I could sit down with any of them and talk with a really good kid.”
213-188 401 Maharishi School Fifth place amongst seven teams