On paper, it’s still a young group. In reality, Medina’s boys golf team is still really, really good.
Veteran coach Jeanne Pritchard’s squad proved it can hang with the best after placing second to St. Ignatius at the Walker Jones Classic on Monday. The Bees shot 300— without All-Gazette pick Mike Bishop.
Suffice to say, juniors Austin Schreiber, Bobby Koch and Bishop and sophomores Sean Sherman and Patrick Luth are dreaming big in 2010.
If the summer was any indicator, look out. Schreiber played in the U.S. Junior Amateur and shot 7-under-par during the school’s 54-hole tryouts. Bishop placed high at the Cleveland Junior Open and canned a hole-in-one at Bunker Hill Golf Course.
Koch made a swing change and is shooting several strokes lower, Sherman is flirting with par and newcomer Luth has the ability to hang with his veteran teammates.
Medina’s not the only thing to watch in Medina County, though, as Black River’s Mat Stuart and Buckeye’s Jeff Haddad will look to build off district berths from a year ago.
Junior Joey Bachman leads a much-improved Brunswick unit, while senior Cody Lyon and senior Jamey Schiesswohl are the headliners for Cloverleaf and Highland, respectively.
Here’s an in-depth look at the seven area schools:
Coach: Jeff Calame, 27th year.
Last year: 4-7, 2-4 dual record; 7th Patriot Athletic Conference Tournament; did not advance out of Mallard Creek Division II Sectional.
Letterwinner lost: Tyler Rook
Returning letterwinners: Mat Stuart (Sr., All-Gazette), Jarrod Pierce (Sr.), Jake Sas (Sr.), Logan Rook (Jr.), Alex Kramer (So.).
Top newcomers: Jacob Norton (Sr.), Gus McMahon (So.).
Noteworthy: Amy Anderson and Paige White elected not to play, marking the first time in recent memory the Pirates haven’t featured a girl on the squad.
• Black River is hosting matches at Westfield Township’s Deer Pass Golf Course after Harrisville Township-based Knollbrook Golf Course closed its doors over the winter.
Coach: Jonathan Laube, 11th year.
Last year: 7-8, 4-6 dual record; 2nd Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division Tournament (3rd overall); 8th of 13 teams at Sweetbriar D-I Sectional.
Letterwinner lost: Josh Perdok.
Returning letterwinners: Matt Dunning (Sr.), Blake Carpenter (Sr.), John Anzo (Sr.), Anthony Bruno (Sr.), Joey Bachman (Jr., HM All-Gazette).
Top newcomer: David Reiter (So.).
Noteworthy: Bachman shot a 67 over the summer in Southwest Junior Tour action and has the talent to be one of the best in a deep NOC Valley Division.
• Reiter was the No. 1 golfer on the junior varsity as a freshman.
• With five letterwinners back, Laube figures to throw a kink in the NOC Valley race, which should be heated between Medina and Strongsville. “They know what matches are about now and hopefully that will play to our advantage,” he said. “I’d like to see us at least compete with Strongsville. I know Medina’s always tough, but we’d at least like to put a little scare in them.”
Coach: Jeff Murphy, 6th year.
Last year: 6-6, 1-5 dual record, 5th at PAC Tournament; did not advance at Mallard Creek D-II Sectional.
Letterwinners lost: None.
Returning letterwinners: Jeff Haddad (Sr., HM All-Gazette), Ryan Ackim (Sr.), Ken Keeler (Sr.), Matt Millward (Sr.), Rob Hagmeier (Sr.), Tyler Bogus (So.).
Top newcomers: None.
Noteworthy: The Bucks were the only county team to use the same starting lineup for every match last season.
• With defending PAC champion Lutheran West shooting in the 350s early on, it appears the conference is wide open. Haddad could challenge Black River’s Mat Stuart for MVP honors.
Coach: Ron Wachtel, 11th year.
Last year: 5-8, 1-6 dual record; 7th Suburban League Tournament (7th overall); 7th of 13 teams at Sweetbriar D-I Sectional.
Letterwinners lost: Sean Brown (HM All-Gazette), Joe Conley, Sam Ilig, Colin Wray.
Returning letterwinners: Jamey Schiesswohl (Sr.), Mick Lloyd (Sr.), Nate Butt (Sr.), Zack Miglich (Jr.).
Top newcomers: Cody Geisler (Jr.), Stephen Cox (Jr.), Robbie Schiesswohl (Fr.).
Noteworthy: As of today, Wachtel is just two career victories away from 100.
• Miglich is on track to pick up a letter in his third career sport. The plucky 5-foot-8 junior already has varsity experience in track and field and basketball.
• The Schiesswohl brothers gained plenty of valuable course time over the summer after playing in a throng of various tournaments.
Coach: Larry Wilhelm, 15th year.
Last year: 6-3, 5-2 dual record; 2nd SL Tournament (2nd overall); 6th of 13 teams at Sweetbriar D-I Sectional.
Letterwinners lost: Brennan Brooker (All-Gazette), Paul Steffas (All-Gazette).
Returning letterwinners: Ryan Zawada (Sr.), Cody Lyon (Sr.), Craig Motil (Sr.), Steve Schniegenberg (Jr., HM All-Gazette).
Top newcomers: Matt Sniff (Sr.), Mark Komives (So.).
Noteworthy: As always, Wilhelm is holding a positive outlook heading into the season, despite the loss of All-Gazette picks Brooker and Steffas. Zawada, Lyon and Schiegenberg all can shoot in the mid-to-high 70s, so there’s no reason to think the Hornets can’t be competitive in the SL. “They’ve had some success, obviously, and we don’t have any standouts this year,” Wilhelm said. “I don’t think anyone is heads and tails above everyone else. We need six solid scores.”
Coach: Jeanne Pritchard, 9th year.
Last year: 8-3, 7-3 dual record; 3rd Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division Tournament (2nd overall); 1st of 13 teams at Sweetbriar D-I Sectional; 3rd of 20 teams at Pine Hills District; 9th out of 12 teams at OHSAA state tournament.
Letterwinners lost: Mark Maynard (Gazette MVP), Kyle Smith (HM All-Gazette).
Returning letterwinners: Austin Schreiber (Jr., All-Gazette), Mike Bishop (Jr., All-Gazette), Bobby Koch (Jr.), Sean Sherman (So.).
Top newcomers: Josh Muchewicz (Sr.), Drew Snyder (Sr.), Patrick Luth (So.), Mike Cole (So.).
Noteworthy: Pritchard elected to keep the team’s home course at Fox Meadows Country Club after moving from Medina Country Club last season.
• Look for the NOC Valley to be a two-horse race this fall after Strongsville grabbed the title from the Bees for the first time last season.
Coach: Greg Pickard, 2nd year.
Last year: 3-4, 3-4 dual record; 4th SL Tournament (5th overall); 11th out of 18 teams at Seven Hills D-I Sectional.
Letterwinner lost: Nate Moskowitz (HM All-Gazette), Zach Jones, Clay Fernholz, Josh Harsh, Jordan Cutting, Danny Arch.
Returning letterwinner: Tre Palecek (Sr.).
Top newcomers: Garrett Cutting (Sr.), Mac Jones (Jr.), Aaron Crooks (Jr.), Tony Hogan (So.), Ethan Reynolds (So.), Ryan Salem (So.).
Noteworthy: With the Grizzlies in rebuilding mode, Palecek will be counted upon heavily to lead the very inexperienced team. The senior is the only player with any notable varsity experience after three-year letterwinner Danny Arch decided not to play.
• Talk about impressive. In his first varsity appearance, Jones holed an eagle at Pine Hills Golf Club. The incredible part? It came from 200 yards out on No. 18, which is one of the most difficult holes in Northeast Ohio.
Contact Albert Grindle at (330) 721-4043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.