Bulldogs claim county golf crown

Bulldogs claim county golf crown

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Bulldogs claim county golf crown

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Centerville held a slim lead as golfers made the turn Saturday at Highland Lake.

That advantage grew to 15 by the time the annual Wayne County Tournament ended, giving the Bulldogs yet another victory in a boys golf season full of them so far.

Centerville freshman Mason Rader was consistent on the course, firing a 38 on the front nine and a 37 on the back as he claimed medalist honors by three strokes over Lincoln’s Eric Underwood.

“We’ve had a great season,” said Rader, whose 75 led the field. “We played really well today, and hopefully we’ll just keep it going.”

Centerville is undefeated in dual matches, and is currently 5-0 in Tri-Eastern Conference contests.

The Bulldogs were one stroke away from last year’s county title, falling 341-342 at Winding Branch, the home course for Lincoln.

The Golden Eagles took second on this Saturday, tallying 344 to Centerville’s winning score of 329. Hagerstown was third with 348, followed by 357 for Northeastern, last year’s county champion.

“It’s really great to see the kids come out and put back-to-back nines together,” said Centerville coach Roger Martin. “We hadn’t really played what we thought we were capable of in an 18-hole event yet this year, so this, I hope, makes them excited about the fact there are some things they can do.”

Centerville led 162-166 over Lincoln after nine holes, with Hagerstown eight strokes back.

“It was really close when we made the turn,” Martin said. “To be able to come out with a 15-stroke victory is really good for our kids, and I think shows they’ve been putting a lot of work in.”

Centerville’s Kaler Nicholson tied with Hagerstown teammates Jonathan Clark and Ben Tinkle for third overall with 80.

Brayden Reece led Northeastern with 81, while teammate Garrett Schuler carded an 84.

Ethan Talbot (85) and Keaton Williams (89) also contributed to Centerville’s winning team score.

“They’re a good group of golfers,” Martin said. “Hopefully we’ll still get a little better.”

Saturday’s tournament started with gray skies that eventually uncovered sunshine as the golfers made their way through Highland’s 18 holes.

“The greens were holding,” Rader said. “It was in good shape.”

Underwood fired a 78 and teammate A.J. Ogle shot 87 for Lincoln, which recorded its low 18-hole score for the season.

The Golden Eagles were also coming off a 190-194 loss Friday to Hagerstown at Hartley Hills.

“To shoot a 344 in the county tourney was really good for us,” said Lincoln coach Phil Renforth. “We had kids that stepped up and played well today.

“A lot of kids shot their best 18-hole round of the year today. That was a good bonus for us, to have those kids come in low.”

Centerville still has TEC matches remaining vs. Winchester and Lincoln.

The Bulldogs shot 167 on the back nine to put away Saturday’s county crown.

“They handled the pressure,” Martin said. “They didn’t let it just bother them that it was neck and neck. We’ve talked all along about we start over now. We play a new nine and we’ve got to focus on each hole. We play each shot. We can’t play back and we can’t play forward. We have to play in the moment, and I think they did that throughout the back nine.”

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