New London, the conference champion that went undefeated during the course of the regular season (16-0), finished in a dead heat with Plymouth, both showing 374 numbers and a tie for 10th place.
“I could not be prouder of this group no matter what they shot today,” New London coach Zack Parr said. “The seniors especially have been a pleasure to coach. Over the four years, Ben Crawshaw, Jaylen Moffit and Caileigh Kropka have a 45-3 record when playing FC teams in duals and in conference tournaments.”
Crawshaw’s number on Thursday were 45-42—87 while Moffitt went out in 50 and came back in 43 for a 93. Kropka did not start Thursday, giving way to junior Luke Smith, who shot a 60-57—117.
The other two scores came from juniors Sean Armold (42-48—90) and Sean Andolsek (53-51—104).
“The guys had some blow up holes out there today,” Parr said. “That really hurts a teams chances to advance because this field is so tough — year-in and year-out it produces the state champions or for certain, state contenders.”
Parr talked about replacing the talented senior group.
“It will not be done overnight,” Parr said. “There is potential in what I have returning, but what I need equally as bad is more numbers. The size of the classes have a lot to do with it.
“Competition occurs when you have decent numbers competing,” he added. “We’ll be competitive next fall, but only if the players put in course time next summer.”
Plymouth’s numbers came from senior Jake Adams (40-45—85), juniors Brody Brown (45-48—93) and Draven Kelley (44-51—95), senior Nate Sexton (48-53—101) and junior Zeb Finnegan (50-51—101).
Plymouth coach Jeff Calame had hoped his players would continue the fine play that saw them handle conference champions, New London, by 10 strokes in the sectional tournament at Valley View in Galion last week. Perhaps in awe in making their first trip out of a sectional, his team just did not fire as he had hoped.
The veteran coach has three juniors returning with the hope of making another run next fall.
As usual, there was unbelievable team competition at the top on Thursday. Minster won the event with a 332. That was two strokes clear of Ottawa Hills, Kalida and Spencerville, all at 334 and all advancing to the state tournament next week.
Minster had a 79 in its score, Ottawa Hills a 78 and Kalia, a 74, that coming from tournament medalist, senior Christian Nartkeu (36-39).
The four advancing individuals are Mex Leppelmeier from Pettisville (38-39—77), Delphos St. John’s Adam Gerker (37-41—78), St. Henry’s Jack Romer (41-38—79) and Margaretta’s Carson Kennedy (39-41—80).
From fifth on down, it was Van Buren (340), St. Henry (347), Liberty Benton (351), Fremont St. Joseph (355), Margaretta (367), Plymouth (374) and New London (374), Columbus Grove (375), Seneca East (378), Upper Scioto Valley (379), Danbury (381), Defiance Tinora (384), North Central (393) and Wayne Trace (402).