But the New London boys team completed that fete Thursday afternoon at Brookside Golf Club in Ashland by winning the season-ending Firelands Conference tournament by seven strokes, 348-355 over a much-improved Plymouth squad.
“I was not sure we were going to pull it off after the scores I saw last night (Wednesday) in our triangular match at home with St. Paul and Loudonville,” fourth-year coach Zack Parr said. “But, we pulled things together enough today to get it done.
“It is a testimony to how tight a group this team truly is,” he added. “They look out for each other. They work at helping each other get better. The result is something special. Now, we will see if we can extend the season next Thursday at Valley View, our sectional site. We have advanced from there three straight years.”
The No. 1 and No. 2 players, both seniors, paced the Wildcats on Thursday at Brookside. Jaylen Moffit, the No. 2, showed 36-44—80 numbers to win tournament medalist honors. His classmate, Ben Crawshaw shot 40-44—84.
The other scores came from juniors Sean Armold (46-42—88) and Sean Andolsek (47-49—96). Sophomore Marcus Mayhorn carded a 50-54—104 while senior Caileigh Kropka shot 60-66—126.
“I only hoped we would have a season like this one,” Parr said. “We had the nucleus back, but they still had to prove themselves. They sure did, because everyone, and I mean everyone, stepped up. When one was down someone else picked them up. Going 16-0 is a great accomplishment.”
Plymouth, under coach Jeff Calame, also had a great day. The Big Red’s first four golfers carded totals of 90 or better. It almost was enough to ruin the Wildcats’ day.
Brody Brown led their scoring from the No. 2 spot with 42-44—86 numbers. Next it was No. 1 Jake Adams in with sides of 42-46—88. Nate Sexton put a pair of 45’s for 90 on his card. That was one stroke better than Draven Kelley who had a 44-47—91. Zeb Finnegan (49-53—102) and Emily Blanton (48-56—104) rounded out the Plymouth scoring.
Third place went to Crestview with a 361. Hayden McMillan (43-38—81) led Rick Belcher’s squad. Others who competed included Brady Moore (43-46—89), Chase Brooky (45-50—95), Dakota Hamilton (47-49—96), Payton Garrett (48-50—98) and Brett Hill (47-53—100).
St. Paul’s young squad finished fourth, getting its numbers from sophomore Jackson Cook (46-49—95), junior David Swope (52-55—107), sophomore Nathan Juby (52-61—113), followed by freshmen Logan Amato (56-63—119) and Luke Meyer (55-58—113), and then senior Ian Kashian (67-69—132).
Mapleton was fifth with Luke Miller leading the way with a 51-52—103. After that it was the 107’s from Javin McQuate (56-51) and Grady Kline (53-54) followed by the score of Evan Dennison (52-58—110).
“We won two matches this year, which was two more than last year,” St. Paul coach Mike McLaughlin said. “There is lots of learning being done by this group but they are steadily improving.
“Jackson Cook, who transferred from Tiffin Calvert, has been a huge plus for our squad,” the second-year coach added. “But, as with all inexperienced golfers, they have their good days and their bad. David Swope and Nathan Juby got it as low as the 40’s this year at Eagle Creek. Now what we need is some consistency.”
The Western Reserve team, because of coming on board late, did not figure in the scoring on Thursday. Despite that, Stoney Jarrett’s club will have to be reckoned with in the future.
The Roughriders shot a 388 as a team, led by Jarrett’s son, Matt, who carded 42-43—85 numbers. The rest of the team is made up of sophomores in John Skrada (50-49—99) and Luke Rowlinson (46-54—100), then freshmen Gary Uhler (52-52—104), Camden Hankins (53-60—113) and Breck Kinney (61-59—120).
The conference awarded medals to first team players. They included Moffit and Crawshaw from New London, McMillan from Crestview, and Brown from Plymouth. Second team selections included Adams and Sexton from Plymouth, Armold from New London, and Moore from Crestview. Coaches selections for honorable mention included Cook (St. Paul), Andolsek (New London), Kelley (Plymouth), Brooky (Crestview) and Miller (Mapleton).
Parr was named Coach of the Year, while a special medal went to former Mapleton player Zach McGregor, who is recovering from a heart transplant.