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Published: 10/2/2002

Otsego went down to the wire to capture league golf crown

BY MARK MONROE AND JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITERS
Springfield's Eric Anderson sends ball down the fairway. Springfield's Eric Anderson sends ball down the fairway.
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Here is a look at the other league tournaments:

For four seasons Findlay had dominated the GLL, winning the league title each season. Would that change this fall?

“We had several close dual matches,” said Findlay coach Dave Coolidge. “So the other [teams] thought this might be the year.”

It wasn't. The Trojans claimed four of the six spots on the all-league first team and posted a 310 team score, 37 shots better than second-place Fremont Ross.

Findlay's Tyler Riley earned medalist honors with a three-over 74, four shots better than teammates Trevor Ballinger and Del Brown in the tournament, which was played at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron.

Riley was named the league's player of the year for the third time in his four-year career, and all three were named to the all-league first team along with a fourth Trojan, Pat Anderson.

Whitmer's Evan Clancy claimed a spot on the all-league first team by tying for sixth place in the GLL tournament with an 82 as the Panthers finished fifth.

Clay's Keith Leonard earned second team honors with an 85 as the Eagles finished sixth.

The fact that Toledo Christian won the TAAC team title by nine strokes came as a surprise because the Eagles were in the midst of a year of reconstruction.

“It was a surprise,” said fourth-year coach Fritz Wenzel, who led the Eagles to their second straight title despite losing three seniors to graduation. “This is a rebuilding year.”

But Toledo Christian carded a 337 team score and won by a wide margin at Forest Creason Golf Club earlier this month. Ottawa Hills, which was a TAAC powerhouse in the 1990s, finished second with a score of 346. Danbury and Emmanuel Baptist both shot 352 to tie for third.

Toledo Christian's Robbie Jackson was the medalist. The senior tied an SLL meet record with a sizzling 72. Junior Alex Wenzel, Fritz's son, carded a 77 to finish second.

The Toledo Christian coach said he wasn't surprised with his upperclassmen's scores. But he was shocked when two of his freshmen, Robbie Jackson and Mike Colvin, both shot 94.

“They were both shooting near 110 early in the season, but we called them up and they showed some promise,” Wenzel said. “They came through with solid scores.”

Wenzel said his team was posting poor scores early in the year, but he said consistent practice on improving their short games made the difference at the league meet.

Wenzel said that focus has turned TC into the golf powerhouse in the TAAC.

The NLL has a point system that is geared toward making the regular season dual meets count. Each team gets two points for a league dual meet win. Points in the tournament start with 24 for first place and is a three-point sliding scale from there.

“The NLL point system has been nice because the whole season is relevant,” said Northview coach Mike Anello. “Every match counts. In earlier years, it was a one shot deal.”

Northview went into the tournament with a 6-1 record. But Anthony Wayne, which was the only team to beat the Wildcats, also went in with a 6-1 mark. Bowling Green and Rossford also had opportunities to win the crown as they came in with 5-2 records.

“All four teams had a good shot at winning the title,” Anello said.

The Wildcats feature six solid players who each have stepped up at some point this season. At the NLL meet, it was Jordan Otto, who shot a sterling 70 to take medalist honors.

Otto said he had trouble driving, but his short game saved him. He said he couldn't complain that he had just six bogies.

Craig Beaker, who has been the Wildcats' No. 1 golfer all season, came in at two over 74. David Treece and Josh Reynolds both added 80s to Northview's team score.

The odds seemed stacked against the Wauseon golf team at the NWOAL Championship, which was played at Auglaize Country Club in Defiance.

Last year the Indians finished two strokes behind Bryan as the Golden Bears claimed their third consecutive league title. What's more, Wauseon had lost four players from last year's team to graduation.

“After losing four seniors, I was wondering if this team was ready to compete for a league title,” said Wauseon coach Mike Marshall.

Marshall's worries were put to rest when his team posted a four-stroke victory over Bryan, claiming the school's first golf title since 1998.

And Marshall said his team's title truly was a team effort.

“Our top two players [Jimmy Zimmerman and Steve McQuinn] certainly played well, but we were very consistent in back, too,” Marshall said. “No one blew up.”

Zimmerman challenged for tournament medalist honors with a 78, falling just two strokes behind Swanton's Kyle Forrest. And McQuinn also earned a spot on the all-league first team, tying for fourth with an 80.

But the next three Indians - Kyle Storrer, Amber Uphaus, and Matt Willeman - all carded an 85 to earn second team all-NWOAL honors. What's more, all three finished tied with Bryan's third player. And the team's sixth player,

Aaron Gorsuch, was close behind with an 86.

Marshall said the conditions under which the tournament was played made his team's consistent performance all the more remarkable.



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