It took some doing for a deep and talented Wooster team, but the Generals were eventually able to fend off a spirited challenge from the West Holmes Knights at Wooster Country Club Thursday, August 25.
Wooster defended its home course by sneaking past West Holmes 160-164 in a match that many people might not have expected to be that close.
“I was proud of the guys, the way they hung in there against a pretty formidable team in Wooster,” said West Holmes coach Phil Schlabach. “It was a really good effort for us, especially at the top. We just need to find a little more firepower at the back end.”
While Wooster standout Anthony Panapento was the spotlight golfer, it would be Knight’s senior Blaine Hager who would grab medalist honors with a 37. His teammate Phillip Schlabach was right on his tail at 38, with Evon Yoder adding a solid 42 for West Holmes.
Panapento was his usual solid self, carding a team medalist 38 while Brent Dillon added a 39 for the Generals.
West Holmes actually led late in the match, but couldn’t hang on.
“That was a lot closer than I think I imagined it would be coming in,” said Schlabach. “Blaine and Phillip really played well all night long. They were extremely consistent. I thought Gavin Christine really came through too. He shot a 47, which was his best score of the year, and for a freshman under that kind of pressure, I was impressed.”
Schlabach went on to note that had Carter Hahn, who shot a 49, played his usual game, that gap would have been closed even more, possibly titling the victory West Holmes’ way.
“Carter has been very consistent this year, and he just had one of those nights,” said Schlabach. “We would have had to play a bit better as a team to make up four shots though. Four strokes on that course can be pretty tough to come by. But this finish was encouraging for us, no doubt about it. If we can continue to improve and play this way, I think we can make some noise in the Ohio Cardinal Conference.”