ARCANUM – Northmont’s varsity boys golf team shaved 27 strokes off last year’s score Monday at the Greater Western Ohio Conference Preseason Tournament at Beechwood Golf Course.
The Thunderbolts tallied a team score of 330 strokes to place 6th overall out of 18 teams compared to last year’s tally of 357 and a 9th place finish.
Lebanon also shot 330 but Northmont took 6th place outright as the result of a 5th man tie-breaker. Junior Alec Avdakov shot a 91 to beat Lebanon’s 5th man Arthur Sweetman who finished with a 93.
“To get a 5th man tie-breaker to place 6th in the GWOC, which is a loaded conference that sends at least two teams to the state tournament every year is pretty awesome,” said Northmont Coach Nathan Hannahan. “We were only six strokes away from third place.”
As usual, Centerville took 1st place with a 305. Springboro was 2nd at 314, Troy and Butler followed with identical scores of 324 with Troy taking third outright as the result of a tie-breaker. Beavercreek placed 5th at 327.
David Richards led Northmont with a 78 shooting identical scores of 39 on both the front and back nine.
“Richards smoked it. He had no birdies, 12 pars and six bogeys to score one of the most consistent rounds of golf a Northmont kid has played in the last four or five years,” Hannahan stated.
Cole Stephens finished No. 2 for the Thunderbolts with a round of 83. Stephens shot 45 on the first nine holes then caught fire to finish with a 38 on the final nine.
“Stephens had the lowest nine hole total of any Northmont player in two years,” Hannahan noted.
Noah Thayer was next with an 84 shooting 41 on the final nine compared to 43 on the first nine. Hannahan said it was Thayer’s personal best score ever.
Northmont started play on holes 8, 9, 10, and 11 under the shotgun start setup.
“Sophomore Gavin Caras had his best varsity round ever with an 85 and then we needed that 5th score tie-break from Avdakov to edge out Lebanon for a 6TH place finish and he shot a 91 and we needed all 91 of his strokes to beat Lebanon’s 5th man by two,” Hannahan said.
Justus Thomas improved four strokes from Friday’s performance at Beechwood when the Thunderbolts competed in the Dor-wood Optimist Scrimmage Invitational hosted by Fairmont. Thomas shot a 97 Monday.
“This was one of the best team performances in my seven years of coaching,” Hannahan added. “The boys fed off of each other on the course. They encouraged one another and you could really sense that they were playing for each other as a team today. It was an awesome feeling to add up the scores at the end and see the excited faces on our guys when we posted our best team 18 hole score in the past six years. It was an awesome day and the kids are still excited. The best part is we get to play Pipestone tomorrow at the Miamisburg Invitational to try and keep rolling.”
1. Centerville 305
2. Springboro 314
3. Troy 324
3. Butler 324
5. Beavercreek 327
6. Northmont 330
6. Lebanon 330
8. Fairmont 340
9. Tippecanoe 363
10. Springfield 369
11. Sidney 379
12. Miamisburg 382
13. Greenville 396
14. Wayne 415
15. Xenia 417
16. Stebbins 454
17. Fairborn 456
18. Piqua 457
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@AimMediaMidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind