By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
It’s been quite the week for the Erekson family.
On Thursday evening, sisters Emily and Olivia were part of the Northridge High School girls tennis team that captured a sixth straight sectional championship.
On Saturday, Emily’s twin brother Will outdueled two other competitors in a one-hole playoff for medalist honors in the NLC boys golf tournament at Maplecrest Country Club.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a medalist in the NLC before,” Northridge coach Dennis Sienicki said. “We’ve had a number of good golfers over the years. There just always seemed to be one a little better.”
Erekson carded a 37-36—73 to tie after the regulation 18 holes with Will Petro (37-36—73) of Warsaw and Dylan Gessinger 35-38—73) of NorthWood for the top spot.
The threesome played the first hole for the playoff and Erekson took an early advantage by ripping a huge drive.
“He hit 3-wood off the first tee during the round,” Sienicki said. “He told me he wanted to go with the driver in the playoff. I told him you are going for medalist so hit driver if that is what you want.”
“There was a lot of adrenaline,” Erekson said about the tee shot. “I pulled a 3-wood behind some trees on the hole during the round so I wanted to go with the driver to get beyond those trees.”
According to several coaches the greens were very fast on Saturday.
“My home course is Elcona and those greens are similar to the ones here,” Erekson said. “That helped me make the adjustment. I had 11 putts on the front and 16 on the back.”
Warsaw took the team title with a score of 308, followed by NorthWood 310, Northridge 316, Elkhart Memorial 321, Concord 328, Wawasee 331, Plymouth 335 and Goshen 341.
“We have been back and forth with Warsaw all season,” NorthWood coach Brad Duerksen said. “I think we have played six times with each of us winning three times.
“Our score today wasn’t a great one, but I’m still pleased since we share the conference title with Warsaw. This is the first NLC boys golf championship for our program.”
Alex Hartsough fired a 39-36—75 for the Goshen Redskins to finish fourth among the individuals and earn a spot on the all-NLC team.
“Alex has been up and down during the NLC season,” Goshen coach Brent Randall said. “He played his way on to the NLC team today.
“His statistics as far as fairways hit and greens in regulation were not super, but he only had 30 putts. When he missed the green he was able to get up and down.”
Erekson has caught the attention of other coaches.
“Will is a terrific kid, but he has sure been a thorn in our side,” Randall quipped. “He has an excellent short game.”
“Will has probably put 50 yards on his drives since last season,” Duerksen said. “He already had a good short game.”
Erekson explained why he has added the distance off the tee.
“I’ve been taking a fitness and weight training class at Northridge,” he said. “Plus I’ve also hit a growth spirt.”
“Two years ago, Will had a very slight build,” Sienicki said. “But he would hit the ball right down the middle of the fairway and he had the good short game. Now he has added the distance off the tee, which just makes him better.”
Northridge finished with a 316 total as Tom Morrison contributed a 43-36—78, Corbin Bullock a 44-38—82 and Austen Schmidt a 42-40—82.
“That’s our lowest team score of the season,” Sienicki said. “We shot a 166 of the front and a 150 on the back. For the most part the kids stayed out of trouble.”
Luke Jackson carded a 43-37—80 to lead Wawasee.
“Sixth place may not sound that great, but I’m reasonably happy with the way we played,” Wawasee coach Steve Coverstone said. “We stopped one of our problems in taking big numbers on holes.”
Also for the Redskins, Quinn albin shot 45-41—86, Michael Chupp 44-45 and Joel Moyer 50-41—91.
“We didn’t take the home course advantage like I hoped we would,” Randall said. “The front nine took a toll on us. We turned at 178 so we played a lot better on the backside.”
Warsaw (308) — Will Petro 37-36—73, Jon Schram 39-36—75, Evan Cultice 42-38—80, Tim Ahlersmeyer 42-38—80, Johnny Hollar 42-43—85.
NorthWood (310) — Dylan Gessinger 35-38—73, Logan Kauffman 39-39—78, Ryan Thompson 41-38—79, Payton Grubbs 42-38—80, Brayden Glaser 44-42—85.
Northridge (316) — Will Erekson 37-36—73,* Tom Morrison 43-36—79, Corbin Bullock 44-38—82, Austen Schmidt 42-40—82, Darren Kauffman 41-44—85.
Elkhart Memorial (321) — Mike Foy 39-39—78, Frank Iavagnilio 40-39—79, Braden Sherwood 40-39—79, Nick Foy 43-42—85, Drew Stutz 43-46—89.
Concord (328) — Tim Johnson 40-40—80, Peyton Kime 44-39—83, AJ Sandlin 45-35—80, Cole Wilkerson 42-43—85, David Dietz 49-52—101.
Wawasee (331) — Luke Jackson 43-37—80, Dylan Cousins 43-40—83, Jeffrey Moore 39-44—83, Cal Heinisch 42-43—85, Tristen Atwood 45-43—88.
Plymouth (335) — Nate Kolter 44-38—82, Kurt Corsbie 41-41—82, Ben Schenk 43-41—84, Zach Craft 42-45—87, Reis Yoder 44-44—88.
Goshen (341) — Alex Hartsough 39-36—75, Quinn Albin 45-41—86, Michael Chupp 44-45— 89, Joel Moyer 50-41—91, Nate Gingerich 48-47—95.
all-NLC — Will Erekson of Northridge, Dylan Gessinger and Payton Grubbs of NorthWood, Alex Hartsough of Goshen, Frank Iavagnilio of Memorial, Will Petro, Jon Schram and Johnny Hollar of Warsaw.
Honorable Mention — Logan Kauffman of NorthWood, Luke Jackson of Wawasee, Brayden Sherwood of Memorial, Tim Ahlersmeyer of Warsaw.