There were other options for the Garaway Pirates and Strasburg Tigers to play in Monday, August 8, but the two Inter-Valley Conference Schools opted to square off with the big boys in facing some of northeast Ohio’s bigger and most talented schools.
The field was deep and talented at the Polar Bear Invite hosted by Massillon Jackson at Shady Hollow Country Club in Massillon Monday, August 8. That made for some heated competition for Strasburg and Garaway, two of the area’s top smaller school teams.
The Tigers were coming off a championship effort at the Pirate Open at Willandale Golf Course Saturday, August 6, where they reeled off an impressive 305 on their home course to claim the title. Garaway also played solid golf there, placing fourth with a 320.
Once again facing some talented bigger schools, the two teams fared well at the Polar Bear Invite, but the placement between the two teams was switched around this time, with Garaway shooting a solid 316 to grab fourth again, while Strasburg totaled a
Garaway came in fourth with a 316, while Strasburg came in sixth with a 323, good for sixth place.
The pirates were once again eld by standout junior Brevin weaver, who followed up his 76 at the Pirate Open with another great score of 75. He was joined at 75 by teammate Colten Fender, who recovered nicely from an uncharacteristic 89 two days earlier to tie Weaver for medalist team honors. Ben Koshmider added an 82, while Michael Yoder and Zach Immel pitched in with 84 and 85, respectively.
The Tigers were again paced by Dylan Tucker, who has been nothing short of sensational in the early going this season. Tucker followed up a 74 with a 77, while Mitch Neidenthal added an 81, Gino Shupbach fired an 82, Mike Neidenthal added an 83, J.K. McCracken added an 84 and Calvin Willis carded an 86.
A talented Wooster team placed fifth after its runner-up effort at the Pirate Open. The Generals fired a 320, led again by Anthony Panepento, who carded a 77. Wesley Roberts added a 79, with Mason Frazier and Brent Dillon adding scores of 81 and 82, respectively. Grant Peabody rounded out the scoring with an 83.
The win at the Polar Bear went to Lexington, whose top tier players were untouchable. Beau Bayer fired off a medalist score of 3-under par 69, while teammate Johnny Peck added an even-par 72. Max Watson also added a fine score of 77 for the winners.
That score was good enough to barely sneak past host Jackson, who challenged the Minutemen with a 304. Andrew Wyss’ 72, Neil Augustine’s 75 and Mark Dilling’s 77 led the way to the runner-up finish.
With teams like Pickerington North (325), Walsh Jesuit (315, good for third), GlenOak (335) and Hoban (323), along with the champion and runner-up teams, both Garaway and Strasburg accepted the challenge of going head-to-head with some big schools
with talented programs, knowing that facing that kind of competition will only make them better as the season progresses.
To be able to play right with those schools and compete at that level will only help grow both team’s confidence.