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High School

Cone leads St. Francis to City golf title


St. Francis senior Corey Cone said he putted much better yesterday at Ottawa Park than he did in Wednesday's first round at Detwiler. He beat Michael Balcar of St. John's by one stroke.

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Two years ago, Corey Cone of St. Francis de Sales shot a low enough score to, theoretically, share medal honors with teammate and classmate David Torchia in the City League golf championship tournament.

The only trouble back then was Cone's two-round 148 didn't count because he was not included in the Knights' six-player varsity lineup for the CL tourney.

Now a senior, Cone was not only in the lineup, but his 74-73-147 was good enough to be the official medalist this time, leading St. Francis to its fifth straight CL team title.

"This year I got it for real," said Cone, who closed his two-day ef-fort with birdies yesterday on Nos. 2, 3 and 15 to offset bogeys on 4, 7, 8, 9 and 11. "Winning five straight has been amazing for the team. This was icing on the cake."

The Knights followed their 308 from cold and windy conditions at Detwiler on Wednesday with a 296 yesterday at Ottawa Park to post a 604 total, six shots better than runner-up St. John's Jesuit (312-298-610).

Central Catholic (317-308-625) was third, and Clay (332-322-654) placed fourth.

"It was really cold [Wednesday] morning," Cone said. "I just tried to hit greens and make putts. I hit [17] greens but I couldn't make putts. I set myself up for today.

"I didn't hit as many greens today but I putted really well, and I made a great sand save on No. 17. I made a 15-foot putt for par, and that put me two up. Then I made an easy par on 18 to close it out."

Backing up Cone for St. Francis were fellow seniors Torchia (77-74-151) and Dan White (79-73-152), and sophomore Ben Torchia (78-76-154), who placed third, fifth, and eighth, respectively, in the individual standings. All four Knight scorers earned all-tourney honors for finishing in the top 10.

St. John's Michael Balcar (72-76-148) missed sharing medal honors by one stroke, and two other Titans also ended in the top 10 - Topher Garzony (78-73-151, tied for third) and Zak Hart (81-74-155, 10th).

Central's leaders were Nick Vetter (78-75-153, tied for sixth) and Cal Axe (80-74-154, tied for eighth).

Rounding out the top 10 was Whitmer's Brent Greenwood, who shook off an 83 at Detwiler to fire a 1-under 70 yesterday, the only player under par at either course.

"Each year's different, teams are different and the kids are different," said Knights coach Dick Nowak of the five-year run. "So, it's really a challenge each year.

"I was fortunate enough this year to have eight seniors, and we played six of them. They're a good group of kids, they work hard and the chemistry has been good. Obviously that showed today."

Contact Steve Junga at:

or 419-724-6461.

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