Youthful Johnnies come of age at Utica Invitational

Youthful Johnnies come of age at Utica Invitational

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Youthful Johnnies come of age at Utica Invitational

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JOHNSTOWN — After his young Johnstown team shot 351 in its opening invitational on Monday, coach Chris Carlisle expected improvement

He just didn’t see this coming.
Playing freshmen and sophomores, the Johnnies were 37 strokes better on Wednesday at The Links at Echo Springs, putting together a stellar 314 to win the 12-team Utica Invitational.
“I like their demeanor and makeup, and they have talent, but they’re very young and lack experience,” Carlisle said after Johnstown finished six shots ahead of Newark Catholic’s 320. “I thought 335 was a realistic goal, which would have meant each player improved four strokes over Monday.
“The kids have worked hard at it. I was out with the girls yesterday during a match at Clover Valley, and four of the guys were out there practicing their chipping and putting. We always stress chipping and putting.”
Freshman John Carlisle shot 38-37 — 75, second-best score of the day, and sophomore Kaden Welch came in at 40-39 — 79 to lead the Johnnies. Freshman Dalton Hastings (42-38) and sophomore Steven Thiel (39-41) each chipped in with 80.
Heath junior Derek Hamm shot 36-35 — 71 to earn medalist honors at 1-under-par, after a 77 in the Mid-State League-Ohio Division preseason tournament Tuesday at Clover Valley. A Village Academy golfer also had 71, but was disqualified because he signed his scorecard for a 70.
Hamm was able to birdie three of the four par-5s at Echo Springs.
“I was right around the greens every time; I made a lot of short birdie putts,” he said. “If you can get through the first five holes, you can attack the rest of it.”
He finished in the top five of several summer tournaments, and is on track to achieve his goal of making the state.
“It lets me know I can shoot this the whole year around,” Hamm said.
Newark Catholic’s David Meurer, meanwhile, struggled with the par-5s with bogeys on three of the holes. He still finished with 39-37 — 76 to lead the Green Wave.
“They’re all reachable in two,” he said of the longer holes. “I also couldn’t make birdie putts. I had three or four from like eight feet. But it was still a good 76.
“I didn’t play that well yesterday (in the MSL-Ohio). I’m working on different things, trying different shots and clubs off the tee.”
NC coach Thom McManus lamented his team’s inability to win the title on the supposedly-easier back nine of the links-styled Echo Springs.
“Our four scorers were 14-over par on the last three holes,” he said. “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. The good news is, it’s the start of the season and it gives me a lot to get after them about.”
Sean Thomas shot 37-41 — 78, Will Nodo 40-40 — 80 and Caleb Ohl 39-47 — 86 for the Green Wave.
“We have all the pieces we need,” Meurer said. “We have four guys who can break 80.”
Lakewood was solid in third place (327), with Chris Downs shooting 39-41 — 80, Michael Wells 43-38 — 81, Reed Moran 40-42 — 82 and Nate Nicholson 45-39 — 84.
Heath was fourth with 333. Adding to Hamm’s big effort were Collin Hall (44-41 — 85), Jacob Rhodes (45-42 — 87) and Jacob Kennedy (47-43 — 90).
Sophomore Matt Simmons, of Northridge, tied Meurer for third best score of the day with his 39-37 — 76, leading the Vikings (338) to fifth place.
“The back nine has a lot more space and less challenging holes,” he said. “I had chance for an eagle on 16, and three-putted. But you can’t let it bother you.”
Also for the Vikings, Jacob Eckhardt posted 45-38 — 83, Austin Bilderback 44-41 — 85 and Nick McConnell 49-45 — 94.
John Kenny shot 40-38 — 78 and Andrew Bailey 41-38 — 79 as Licking Heights (341) was sixth. Adam Colopy added 43-43 — 86 and John Righter 46-50 — 96.
Licking Valley (347) was seventh behind Austin Skeese’s 43-39 — 82 and Marshall Hall’s 43-44 — 87. Andrew Buchbinder had 44-44 — 88 and Aaron Hazlett 49-41 — 90.
Broc Stradley led host Utica with 44-40 — 84 as the Redskins were 10th at 377. Jacob Daubenmire had 45-41 — 86, Sean Martinsen 49-54 — 103 and Tyler Salyer 53-51 — 104.
Granville Christian (388) was 11th as Noah Shannon posted 46-40 — 86, Dallas Martin 47-44 — 91, Dustin Middleton 51-50 — 101 and Nathan Winningham 58-52 — 110.

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Youthful Johnnies come of age at Utica Invitational
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