Goshen News, Goshen, IN

May 19, 2013

PREP BOYS GOLF: Lakers outduel Falcons for tourney title

By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS

KENDALLVILLE — Most of the suspense of Saturday’s NECC boys golf tournament at Noble Hawk Golf Links was focused on Fairfield and Lakeland.

The two teams had been head and shoulders above the rest of the conference most of the season — Fairfield winning the regular season title with a perfect 10-0 mark — and Saturday’s conference tournament was no different.

Lakeland edged Fairfield 308-311 to wrest the NECC tourney title from the defending champ Falcons.

It was the first NECC tournament title since at least 2005, according to Lakeland coach Jon Roush.

“We had a good week, and that continued today,” Roush said. “Consistent play was the key for us.”

And on a day when the Lakers’ top three golfers struggled at times, it was their No. 4 — Zac Paxson — coming up big.

Paxson fired a 3-over-par 73 to earn medalist honors.

It was quite a turnaround from last season for Paxson, who shot a 105 at the NECC tournament in 2012.

Roush could not have been prouder.

“Zac is a great kid and he has been working very hard,” Roush said. “I’m very happy for him ... He developed a case of the shanks at the end of last season and he’s battled through that.”

For Paxson on Saturday, simplifying his game made a difference. He hit mostly irons off the tee, sacrificing distance for accuracy.

The strategy paid off in a big way.

“I could tell that my driver was not going to be working today,” Paxson said. “My irons were.”

Indeed, Paxson started off on the front nine at Noble Hawk par-birdie-birdie-par. He was 2-over on the front nine.

Roush said he challenged his team to not worry about pin placements on Saturday.

“I told them to just aim for the center of the green,” Roush said.

The Lakers will play in the Lafayette Jeff Invitational next weekend — their final tuneup before the sectional tournament Satirday, June 1 at Black Squirrel Golf Club in Goshen.

Among other area schools on Saturday, Westview was seventh (360); and West Noble ninth (380).



TEAM STANDINGS

1. Lakeland 308; 2. Fairfield 311; 3. Fremont 331; 4. Prairie Heights 333; 5. Angola 352; 6. Churubusco 353; 7. Westview 360; 8. Central Noble 369; 9. West Noble 380; 10. Eastside 382; 11. Hamilton 422.

ANGOLA (352) — Eric Ruff 87; Max Essman 82; Joey Weicht 96; Mike David 95; Beau Herndon 88.

CENTRAL NOBLE (369) — Brett Gallmeyer 87; Kaleb Smith 91; Jacob Luneke 103; MIchell Comparet 88; Mack Smith 105.

CHURUBUSCO (353) — Beau Barkley 80; Brad Martin 82; Landon Pearson 92; Cody Tuesch 99; Isaiah Ramsey 107.

EASTSIDE (382) — Colton Hein 86; Kyle Franz 96; Landen Brow 104; Dylan Kaiser 104; Brian Crowl 96.

FAIRFIELD (311) — Zach Hochstedler 77; Jordan Davidhizar 75; Jacob Fry 84;  JOhn Stack 75; Tyler Hostetler 87.

FREMONT (331) — Austin Corcimiglia 75; Jordan Schmucker 83; Collin Sherburne 86; Seth Wirick 87; Justin Pappenbrock 88.

HAMILTON (422) — Hunter Schiffli 94; Cole Newcomer 118; Brett Bice 104; Reed Steffen 110; Baylee Fifer 114.

LAKELAND (308) — Spencer Mortola  75; Isaac Kilgore 80; Brad Pearson 86; Zac Paxson 73; Jordan Aldrich 80.

PRAIRIE HEIGHTS (333) — Dakota Lambert 86; Jessy Morgan 80; Nick Bennett 88; Cody Bachelor 79; Jason Miller 89.

WEST NOBLE (380) — Tim Dice 89; Grant Moser 89; Jacob Musselman 94; Zach Becker 108; Kolten Peterson 108.

WESTVIEW (360) — Logan Millr 87; Cody Litwiler 89; Reed Oesch 91; Nate Gererdot 93; Skyler Reynolds 100.