By Joe Ostrica
The Avon Lake boys team kept its first-place status in the Southwestern Conference intact when the Shoremen edged league rival Brecksville by one stroke in a thrilling 157-158 win at Sweetbriar Golf Course Thursday. The Shoremen were led by medalist Jason Hessel, who scored a 36. Colin MacGeorge (39), Josh Currie (40) and Jake Warnica (41) wrapped up the scores for Avon Lake. Brecksville was led by
Jimmy Henyey (38), followed by Paul Kim (39), Andrew Craig (39) and Kyle Krcmar (41).
“This was the last regular season match for the year and beating Brecksville was important for us to keep that top slot in SWC 9-hole play,” Avon Lake head coach Amy Manco said. “They are a much improved team and have one of the best players in the conference on their team, Kyle Krcmar. These nine-hole matches are tough. One bad hole is hard to recover from.
“Jason Hessel’s 36 and Colin MacGeorge’s 39 were key to our victory. Our other guys did not have their best days, but these two pulled through.”
The Shoremen finished 5-1 to tie with Westlake for the 9-hole portion of the SWC play. Avon Lake also won the early-season SWC tournament at Eagle Creek.
“That puts us in the driver’s seat heading into the final part of SWC action,” Manco said about the SWC championship that takes place at Pine Hills Golf Course Thursday. “We need to finish ahead of Westlake at that event. That will determine who is conference champ. Many teams can win that tournament. It depends who plays well.
“Amherst has a top golfer in Mike Campana and Olmsted Falls is solid with Alex Torres leading the way. Each of our guys needs to go out and play a solid round of golf. Our biggest obstacle is often ourselves. We have to be mentally tough when we hit a bad shot or get a poor score on one hole. Some of our players have struggled with this.”
Manco said seeing the Shoremen play so well this year has been impressive, especially with all the top talent that graduated last year.
“After losing five solid players from last year’s team, I am really pleased with the outcomes of our matches,” she said. “Our focus right now is on Thursday’s event at Pine Hills.”