Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

June 6, 2012

PREP BOYS GOLF: On to the next level

Area prep boys golfers look to qualify for state tournament today

GOSHEN — Teams from Northridge, Lakeland and Elkhart Memorial plus individuals from Fairfield, Elkhart Christian Academy and Elkhart Central will be competing today in the IHSAA boys golf regional at Orchard Ridge Country Club near Fort Wayne.

Orchard Ridge is located at 4531 Lower Huntington Road (41/2 miles east of I-69).

The top three teams and three leading individuals not on advancing teams qualify for the first round of the state tournament at The Legends of Indiana Golf Course near Franklin on Thursday, June 7. Ties for third must be played off.

Tee times begin at 8 a.m. Among the individuals are Central senior Jeffrey Bradford (No. 1 tee at 8), Elkhart Christian freshman Alec Dutkowski (No. 10 tee at 8) and Fairfield junior Zach Hochstedler (No. 10 at 8:08).

Bradford was the top individual qualifier with a 75, followed by Hochstedler 77 and Dutkowski 78.

Memorial begins on No. 1 and their tee times range from 8:16 to 8:48. Lakeland and Northridge both start on No. 10. Lakeland’s tee times are from 8:16 to 8:48 and Northridge’s from 8:56 to 9:28.

Northridge finished second in last Friday’s sectional at Black Squirrel Golf Club in Goshen. Northridge shot 327 compared to Memorial’s first-place score of 326. Lakeland was third at 330.

Senior Rhett Holaway carded an 80 to lead the Northridge Raiders, followed by senior Logan McBride and freshman Tom Morrison 82s, sophomore Will Erekson 83 and senior Andrew Edlund 91.

The Raiders are making their 10th straight regional appearance.

“That’s a nice streak,” said Northridge coach Dennis Sienicki who has coached the team for the past 15 seasons and 24 overall years.

Weather conditions for the sectional were cool temperatures and light rain.

“I didn’t think the conditions were that bad, but when I looked at scores from our sectional and others it must have been worse than I thought,” Sienicki said.

“I’m hoping for a nice calm day for the regional. It’s no real secret kids play better when the weather is better.”

Northridge has played at practice round at Orchard Ridge.

“The greens were hard and very fast,” Sienicki said. “We practice at Elcona Country Club at times and I would say the greens are comparable to what we will see at Orchard Ridge. The greens will putt true, but they will be very fast.”

The veteran Northridge coach thinks the No. 2 ranked Warsaw Tigers are the favorites for the team championship.

“Warsaw is heads and shoulders above the other teams,” Sienicki said.

“Fort Wayne Dwenger and Fort Wayne Canterbury are solid teams as are Triton and Carroll. We like to think if we play the kind of golf we are capable of playing we can be in contention for a state berth.

“For us to be in contention we need a good score from McBride and solid rounds from Holaway and Edlund. Erekson is a pretty steady player. There’s no question that McBride and Holaway lead the way for us.”

Lakeland was paced in the sectional by junior Spencer Mortola 77, senior Cody Richardson 81, junior Jordan Aldrich 84, freshman Isaac Kilgore 88 and junior Zachary Paxson 97.

“We played a practice round at Orchard Ridge on Monday,” Lakeland coach Jon Roush said.

“The greens were somewhat hard and fast. The course is in great shape. Due to the speed of the greens I told the kids they want to be short on their approach shots. You do not want to be long and be above the hole. If you are short of the green and chipping up to the pin you should be okay.

“Some holes are tighter than others, but there are ones you can spray the ball and get away with it. There is less to worry about on the front side so I’m happy we are playing the back side first. I would rather play the tougher side first.”

Richardson is the only member of the Lakeland team with any regional experience. He was a freshman in 2009 when the Lakers made their last team regional appearance and he qualified as an individual a year ago.

“We have been on the course a couple of times,” Roush said. “Playing in the Homestead Invitational helps us.”

Memorial won it’s fourth sectional championship at Black Squirrel. Others were in 1976, 1977 and 1980.

Junior Frank Iavagnilio carded a 79, junior Drew Stutz 80, freshman Braden Sherwood 81, senior Noah Strati 86 and sophomore Robert Sorg 93 for Memorial in the sectional.

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