The top boys and girls players in District One tee it up
Monday morning, the boys at Turtle Creek Golf Club and the girls a few miles up
Swamp Pike at Gilbertsville Golf Club, with team and individual district titles
on the line over the next two days.
Radnor senior Brynn Walker, the reigning PIAA Class AAA
champion, gets one last chance to fill in one of the few items missing on her
sparkling scholastic resume. Walker, a North Carolina commit, helped Radnor
claim a PIAA team title as a freshman, won a medal at states with a tie for
fifth as a sophomore and won Class AAA East Regional and state championships a
Walker had one bad hole at the Red and White nines on Day 1
at Gilbertsville – she hit two balls out of bounds and took a 10 on the par-5
second hole – a year ago and it took her out of the running for the district
But it’s never easy winning a district title. Since
Chichester’s Aurora Kan dominated the event by winning three straight titles
from 2007 to 2009, the talent level for the top girls in District One has
really taken off.
Kan was denied a fourth district title as a senior by
Council Rock North freshman Erica Herr, although Kan won a state title three
weeks later. But Herr would go on to win two PIAA titles while district titles
went to Mount St. Joseph’s Isabella DiLisio and the last two to Pennsbury’s
Jackie Rogowicz. DiLisio and Rogowicz
are making immediate impacts at the collegiate level at Notre Dame and Penn
State, respectively, as freshmen this fall.
Walker never seems to have a problem at Turtle Creek, where
the scene shifts Tuesday for the girls after the field is cut following
Monday’s opening round at Gilbertsville. She reiterated that point with a
4-under 68 at last week’s Central League Tournament that featured an eagle, two
birdies and 14 pars and, yeah, she said, if a couple of putts had dropped, it
could have been even better.
One of Walker’s biggest challenges for a district title may
come from Council Rock North’s Madelein Herr, her partner in crime when the two
teens nearly stole the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship
last May in Oregon. They reached the semifinals before falling, but that run
assured them a return trip to Four-Ball next spring.
Coatesville’s Sammie Staudt has really improved her game and
she always seems to be playing her best during the scholastic postseason.
Pretty sure she’s a three-time state qualifier.
Walker’s teammate, junior Gabby Kim, had a very good round
at Centrals last week, her 1-over 73 perhaps overlooked a little because of
Walker’s low round. Kim played an ambitious summer schedule and it’s paying off
at the scholastic level.
Delco’s boys haven’t fared as well in recent years at Turtle
Creek, although Marple Newtown’s Sam Soeth and Springfield’s Brian Todaro were
among a group that finished in a tie for third two years ago. It is a very
competitive event and you can’t afford a big number.
Radnor junior Michael Sydnes shared medalist honors with
Springfield senior Josh Luchon with a solid 73 at Centrals last week. He looked
like he was well on his way to a berth in the Class AAA East Regional last year
at districts when he hit two balls out of bounds on the 10th hole and
lost any chance to advance.
That kind of experience will be helpful to him this year.
Haverford senior Frankie McVeigh was just a shot back of
Sydnes and Luchon at Centrals with a 74. Speaking of Haverford, nice job by
first-year coach Nate Oxman, whose Fords beat Marple Newtown the day after the
Central Tournament last week to finish
6-5 in the league. It will be the first trip to the District One tourney for
McVeigh, a product of the junior program at Llanerch Country Club, but a 2-over
round at the Turtle should be a nice confidence booster.
Marple Newtown senior Joey DelFranco, who had a 75 at
Centrals last week, has been here before, failing to make the cut on Day 1 at
the Turtle last year.
The two players who matched DelFranco’s 75 last week, Garnet
Valley junior Jimmy Gillespie and Radnor freshman Jake Calamaro, will be in the
district field for the first time. Calamaro, the younger brother of 2009 PIAA
girls champion Jackie Calamaro, seemed unfazed by his first major scholastic
postseason test last week. It will be interesting to see how he fares.
Two years ago, Methacton’s Kyle Vance stormed to a district
title as a freshman. He’s a junior and remains one of the district’s top
The talent pool runs deep among the boys in District One.
Day 2 at Turtle Creek will feature the team competition.
When Radnor had enough players to field a girls team, the Raiders were
contending for district and state championships. But with not enough girls to
field a girls team, Radnor has a coed team, which means Walker’s score will
count for Radnor.
The Raiders completed an impressive 11-0 run through the
always-tough Central last week. Coach Andy Achenbach’s problem, if it can be
called that, is which five to enter in the team competition. The top four
scores count toward the team total.
Obviously, Sydnes and Walker will be two of the five and
Calamaro probably solidified his spot with his 74 in the Central Tournament.
There are five other Radnor boys (Chris Austen, Conor Rinehart, Daniel Bullock,
Minwoo Kwak, and Peter Civitella) and two other Radnor girls (Kim and Caitlin
Bullock) who qualified individually for districts. A couple of the Radnor boys
who failed to qualify for districts last week were major contributors to the
Raiders’ dual-match success.
It will be interesting to see how Achenbach fills out his
lineup. Regardless, Radnor will certainly be a contender to win the district
team title. The district team champion earns a trip to the Heritage Hills
Resort in York County to compete for a PIAA Class AAA team title.