By Joe Ostrica
The Bay girls golf team placed second overall out of the five teams competing for a West Shore Conference championship, held Sept. 20 at Sweetbriar Golf Club in Avon Lake. The Lady Rockets totaled 414 points, finishing ahead of Vermilion (440), North Ridgeville (463) and Rocky River (487). Avon’s girls won its fourth-straight WSC crown with a 362.
“Avon obviously took off with it from the beginning with the preseason tournament, so we saw it as a battle between us and Vermilion,” Bay girls head coach Joe Cheney said. “Ridgeville had two pretty good golfers, so it was a matter of what the third, fourth and fifth teams did.”
Bay senior Ciera Miller led the lady Rockets with a 97 to place eighth overall. Avon’s Kaitlin Neumann won her second straight WSC individual crown with an 82.
“Ciera played well,” Cheney said. “She got off to a rough start. She had 49 on the front nine and struggled with the conditions a little bit. I think the pressure was on her as all the girls were gunning for Kaitlin Neumann. The girls stepped up to the challenge.”
Kelsey Reilly (104), Steph Sheppa (105), Hayley Price (108), Betsy Weber (112) and Nicole Lyons (112) rounded out Bay’s scores.
“Steph Sheppa had a great front nine and then had two tough holes on the back, and then it snowballed into a tough round on the back nine,” Cheney said. “Hayley shot 53 and 55, which is pretty consistent with what we’ve seen from her. Kelsey had a nice day. She struggled on one hole, but everything else was close to how she played.”
Rocky River struggled, but Julia Gentner had a solid outing, scoring a 94, tied for fifth overall. No other Rocky River girls player bested a 130.
Cheney is hopeful playing at Sweetbriar will help his squad when they return there for the Division I girls sectionals.
“It’s nice to play the same course,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve played 18 here all year. A lot of the same teams will be here. We’re battling for that fifth spot. Avon, Avon Lake, Magnificat and St. Joe’s are probably the favorites going into it.
“Then there are teams like Westlake, Strongsville, us and Padua kind of fighting for that last fifth spot. We’re hoping Steph and Ciera, if the other teams make it, that they have a good chance to qualify for districts. All it takes is one good day. You get that hot putter and we’ll be in good shape.”
The Rocky River boys placed third out of the eight WSC boys teams. Avon won its first-ever WSC title with a 322, followed by Midview (348), Rocky River (353), Elyria Catholic (357), North Ridgeville (363), Lakewood (366), Bay (367) and Vermilion (390).
“I’m a little disappointed,” Rocky River head coach Mike Patterson admitted. “Avon has a really good team. I thought we could compete with them and be right there for second, but we just didn’t play very well. The course was tough, it was windy, but I thought we would still play better than that.”
Rocky River’s Jackson Farling led his team with an 82, tying Avon’s Danny Kelly and Midview’s Brett Gerbec for third overall.
“Jackson Farling played well,” Patterson said. “He didn’t finish strong, but he was playing well up until the last three holes. Garrett Stefani scored for us. He hadn’t done that previously, so that was good to see. Other than that, we just played OK.”
The Pirates are hopeful to do better the next time they play at Sweetbriar when they compete in the Division I sectionals.
“We’ve got to come back here and play better in sectionals,” Patterson said. “We’ve got a good chance to get out and play in districts, but we’ve got to play better than we did today. It’s golf, and things can turn around pretty quick.”