By Stefanie Kilnapp
The highly anticipated “Olmsted Cup” between North Olmsted and Olmsted Falls took place on the Sept. 27 at Emerald Woods golf course, deep inside Olmsted Falls territory. Since it is a two-day event, the second day continued at Springvale golf course – North Olmsted territory. The first day is team play, and the following day is individual matches.
It is described as an unofficial practice between the two teams to stir up excitement. It is modeled after the United States and European Ryder Cup which consists of match play, and has been going on somewhere in the range of 10 to 15 years.
“Playing match play is fun for us. It is a nice change from stroke play,” North Olmsted senior Jonny Nola said.
Olmsted Falls and North Olmsted were once one community and that is how the name “Olmsted Cup” came to be.
“If you ask any of the kids, it’s their favorite thing they do all year. It’s a lot of fun,” Olmsted Falls Head Coach John Holzworth said, “With the two schools, it’s almost like we are like one big school because the kids have so much fun with each other.”
It’s the end of the season and both teams are getting ready for sectionals, but it’s still a blast.
“They’re fist pumping and stuff, representing our school,” Holzworth added. “Our strengths would be that I got a bunch of juniors and they have experience and we gained some experience this year and it’s really coming to fruition.”
Olmsted Falls won a tournament on Sept. 24, which included competition from 24 teams at Sawmill Creek, and Holzworth is anticipating strong play from his squad going forward into the postseason.
“Any high school team would say they need to improve different facets of the game,” he said. “I would say that if we improved our putting and around the greens – our short game, that’s going to be a number one goal heading into next year – and if we can do that, we’re going to be a pretty tough team.”
Sectionals were played yesterday at Thunderbird Hills, and Holzworth expected some tough competition.
“Avon Lake, I’m anticipating, will have quality (play), and Ashland is always tough but, we’re expecting to qualify (for districts),” he said. “We have to play well. It was one of our goals early on in the year, and that hasn’t changed. I anticipate playing another week after sectionals.”
Holzworth describes freshman Alex Torres and junior Scott Lemin his top two players and his “horses”.
North Olmsted Head Coach Tim Murphy looks at his team in a different perspective.
“Really the strength of our program is our younger players,” he said. “We’ve had a tough time this year with depth and the front part of our line-up. We’ve suffered through a few years were we didn’t have a JV program, because of the levy and pay to play and all that, but the guys have been fairly solid this year.
“We’ve had a couple surprises and a couple disappointments in the way (the team has) played (this season).”
Murphy has high expectations of his team for the postseason as well.
“We have a couple guys that have played on that course a lot,” he said. “We play our preseason out there – we’ve been there a couple years.
“We havefour or five guys with plenty of experience on that course and hopefully they get their game together and they get out and move on to districts.
“The weakness of our team is our consistency,” he added. “We haven’t been able to get everybody to play well at the same time.”
Regarding the Olmsted Cup both coaches see the friendly competition involved and enjoy every minute.
“More sportsmanship involved and gamesmanship as well. It’s a lot more fun I think, and this is how golf was originally designed,” Murphy said, while Holzworth added, “We have pizza. It’s a celebration of a fun golf season and two teams coming together to enjoy each other’s competition, and it’s a blast.”
North Olmsted golfer Alex Arendec summed it all up, “We all have fun during the cup no matter what happens we both like playing with the Olmsted Falls golfers.”