Port Clinton’s Anthony Paradiso is only a freshman, but to junior Shane Meek, he’s a sage.
That might be a little strong, but Meek adheres to Paradiso’s reminders that pressure is for tires. Meek earned medalist honors at 77 on Thursday at Sawmill as the Redskins advanced to districts with a third place finish at 343.
“My main thing going in was to focus on not letting there be a point where getting down impacted my play,” Meek said. “You move to the next shot. I took a triple and told Dom (coach Rick Dominick) I wanted to make 13 more pars. I was 1-over from there. I was close to my goal and I stayed focused.”
Meek had 33 putts after doing the same for a 79 at Sawmill on Monday. He hit 12 greens in regulation and 12 fairways Thursday.
“It’s pretty awesome,” he said of the sectional crown. “Only five Redskins have done it. To be with Marcus Hunt and Tim Belden is awesome. Those guys are good models. This is another step. It’s probably the best thing that’s happened so far in my high school career.”
Meek birdied No. 11.
“It was dead into the wind on a pretty long par-4,” he said. “I gave it a good whack to 140, drew a 9-iron back in and spun it within four feet. That sparked a little momentum.”
Joey Kurtz carded an 82 on Thursday after tying a school record at 70 on Monday. Paradiso shot an 86 and Austin Krupp a 98 on Thursday.
“Joey did a nice job and had a few birdies late,” Meek said. “Anthony was 1-over for the final four.”
Port Clinton earned a sectional championship last year before finishing tied for second at districts. It didn’t advance based on a tiebreaker.
“It was pretty rough last year on the bus ride home,” Meek said. “You’ve got to go to state or it’s a bust. We have what we need and if we get there we can compete depending on the day and conditions.”
Meek used his ball striking to medal Thursday and he’s excited he won’t be alone at districts.
“You don’t want to be the only one on the range or putting green,” Meek said. “I wouldn’t know what to do without them.”
Thursday was not the first time Meek has responded to pressure. He shot a 76 when Port Clinton had to beat Clyde to win the SBC last season while Kurtz was medalist at the SBC Tournament when the Redskins had to beat Perkins on Saturday.
“Anthony always says pressure is for tires,” Meek said. “Why should you put pressure on yourself? There’s no need. Just do what you do in the moment. When I feel pressure I try to play my game. Dom kept me calm (Thursday).”
Districts are at Red Hawk on Thursday.
“I love Red Hawk,” Meek said. “Any Arthur Hills course fits me. I can’t wait.”