MILFORD – The Milford Eagles boys golf team did just enough to capture a second consecutive Eastern Cincinnati Conference crown this season.
They finished with a team score of 318, topping Loveland by seven shots to earn 10.5 points in the postseason tournament Oct. 1 at Glenview, earned six points for the shootout runner-up finish and five points for finishing with a league-best 5-1 record. The 10.5 points Milford earned for winning the tournament put them ahead of the Tigers by half a point.
Milford freshman Justin Horn carded a tournament-best 75 to take medalist honors by one shot over junior teammate Nathan Arnold. Sophomore Tristan Woster placed in the top-10, tying for eighth with an 83. Aaron Wade just missed the top-10 with an 84.
“It’s even harder to do it a second time because you’re going to get everyone’s best shot,” said Phil Sheldon, Milford coach and 2015 ECC coach of the year. “We were trailing by a couple shots and the players knew it. But they stayed patient and knew that if they kept putting balls on the green, they were going to put pressure on the other guys.”
During practices, Sheldon will simulate scenarios so that should his players encounter a certain one, they are prepared for it. For example, he will tell his team it is trailing with four holes to play and needs to end strong enough to make up the difference.
That situation-based training came in handy at Glenview.
“They all played an incredible final four holes,” he said. “Through the cold and bad weather, they continued to hit greens.”
Entering the postseason, Milford has four players inside the conference’s top 10 for scoring average, including three of the top six.
Prior to winning the tournament, Milford shot a 138 to beat Kings’ 167. That had to give them a fair amount of confidence.
Now, they look to keep that confidence rolling into sectionals, which were contested this week.
“Their goal is to make it to districts as a team,” Sheldon said. “After that, they feel anything can happen. They are good enough to move on and know they can. It’s just how they’ll react to the postseason. It’s a different type of golf. It’s win, or go home.”