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Truckers season ends

BY DON HOHLER • Oct 13, 2016 at 8:28 PM

FINDLAY – The Norwalk boy’s golf team finished sixth Thursday afternoon in the Division I District Tournament. It marked the end of the season for the Trucker squad, one of the most successful in the 13 years Wes Douglas has been at the helm.

Just one team advanced, in the case of Thursday District at Red Hawk Run, it was Toledo St. John Jesuit. They shot a 308. The same held true as the individual. The lone qualifier for the state next week at Ohio State is Jack Kunckel from Sylvania Northview. He shot an even par 72 on sides of 35 and 37.

Norwalk was led by its No. 1 player and only senior, Max Berry. He put together a pair of 40’s for an 80, a number that had him in 13th place in the field that included 10 teams.

The other scores came from the junior contingent. No. 3 player Braden Nunez carded and 85 (41-44) as did the team’s No. 4, Cam Nickoli (43-42), totals that had them tied for 21st. The teams No. 2, Jared Kessler, was in at 87 (45-42), finishing 27th, while the No. 5, Jonah Mersereau, shot a 99 (48-51) and was tie for 55th.

“No excuses as far as weather,” Douglas claimed. “It was a bit cool but sunny and the wind was down. It was just that it was a tough field and with one team and one individual moving on, the pressure was on for everyone to play their absolute best and that did not happen. I am sure that was the case with several other teams who thought they had a chance at extending their season.”

Douglas called the season one of his most satisfying. It was one that included a sixth Northern Ohio League title during his watch, a win at the 20-team Port Clinton Invitational and a runner-up finish at the Ashland Invitational.

“It was unfortunate that our tournament got washed out as well as the Edison Invite because I could see us doing equally well in those tournaments,” he reasoned.

“We had a great leader in Max Berry and a leader is important,” Douglas believed. “I see our three-year letter winner, Nunez, filling that role next year. But, it could leadership by committee because both Jared Kessler (2 letters) and Cam Nickoli (1 letter) have also shown the ability to lead by example.

“A number of players, including my two thru four, showed marked improvement as the season went on,” Douglas assessed. “Those four junior starters are back as is Grant Fisher and Owen Rhodes, our sixth and seventh who are also juniors. You don’t get better, however, without practice and that is going to be a must if we are to be as successful as we were this year. The key word for an individual and a team is effort and that’s what it is going to take this summer in getting ready for next fall.”

Following St. John Jesuit in the team standings were Sylvania Northview 321, Bowling Green 322, Ashland 328, Toledo St. Francis 332, Norwalk 337, Toledo Clay 343, Lexington 355 and Wapakoneta 365.

There were two 74’s, the 40-34 from Clay’s Eric Kutchenriter and Ashland’s Max Weston (36-38) followed by five players who shot 75.

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