The Runner-up finish in 2017 didn’t sit well with the Mustangs. That day, they made a year long commitment that 2018 would be different. This past weekend at the MHSAA State Finals, they made good on that promise in a big way by capturing their first title since 1996 at MSU’s Forest Akers East. The Mustangs ran away with the championship by an impressive 33 stroke victory over second place, Everest Collegiate, 2017 State Champions.
The Team, The Team, The Team. Perhaps you’ve heard that mantra out of Ann Arbor, but that phrase fit the Mustangs to a “T” all season long. They had contributions from every member of this team and they came though by playing their best golf in the final tournament of the year to card their 3rd State Championship in school history (’93, ’96, and ’18). The Mustangs returned all 5 team members from the 2017 campaign and they were all valuable contributors through the season.
The Mustangs were led by Junior Erik Fahlen at the finals with a MHSAA record breaking 138 two day Toal (-6). Senior Logan Holtkamp (GR Community College Commit) finished 7th overall with an impressive 148 (+4). Senior Hayden VanErmen made his mark with a 153, and keeping it in the family, Sophomore brother, Lance VanErmen shot a pair of 78’s for a weekend of 156. Senior, Ben Farrell (Cornerstone University Commit), shot 83-84 for a 167.
The Mustangs started slow early on Friday, but gained some great momentum on the back nine to take a 7 stroke lead into Saturday. Day 2 was “full steam ahead” in rainy conditions, finishing with an impressive State Championship two day total of 595.
How good were they this year? Here’s a quick recap of the school records broken by this team:
- 18 Hole regular season TEAM Score low: 294 (The Meadows at GVSU).
- State Finals low TEAM Score: 296 (previously 310)
- State Finals low TEAM Total score: 595 (previously 628).
- 18 Hole INDIVIDUAL regular season score: 68 by Hayden VanErmen and Erik Fahlen (The Meadows at GVSU).
- State Finals Individual Low score: Erik Fahlen (67. Previously 70 by Christian Vozza).
- State Finals Individual Low Total: Erik Fahlen (138. Previously 143 by Christian Vozza). This is also a D4 MHSAA Record by Fahlen.
- Erik Fahlen joins the ranks of NPC standouts as an Individual State Champion in boys golf:
- Todd Setsma (’89)
- Brian Furst (’91)
- Mark Setsma (’92)
- Dan Janson (’96)
- Jackson Koert (’06 and ’08)
- Erik Fahlen (’18)
Congratulations to the Coaching Staff (Erik Fahlen Head Coach, Pat Ladwig, Ed DeJong, and Tucker Fahlen, Assistant Coaches) and the Mustangs. It was a banner year for NPC boys golf!
- Hayden VanErmen, Senior
- Logan Holtkamp, Senior
- Ben Farrell, Senior
- Erik Fahlen, Junior
- Tim Gaffin, Junior
- Lance VanErmen, Sophomore
- Head Coach – Erik Fahlen
- Ass’t Coaches – Pat Ladwig, Tucker Fahlen, and Ed DeJong