Marple Newtown senior Sam Soeth and Radnor sophomore Brynn Walker, both of whom returned from the PIAA Tournament with fifth-place medals in Class AAA, headline the boys and girls All-Central League selections, respectively.
Soeth had rounds of 77 and 75 over the 6,700-yard, par-71 Heritage Hills Golf Resort layout to finish in a tie for fifth in the Class AAA boys field at 10-over 152. That followed a 2-over 74 at Golden Oaks Golf Club at the East Region Tournament that punched his ticket to states and a tie for third in the District One Tournament at Turtle Creek Golf Club at even-par 144.
The district tournament had been a particularly difficult hurdle for Soeth, as he was playing in it for the fourth time in a career that included an All-Delco season as a freshman, but this fall was the first time he was able to advance past districts.
Soeth is joined on the boys first team by Conestoga junior Andrew Wilner, who was the Central’s low man at Heritage Hills, taking second with a 149 total, fellow Pioneers Robert Olseski and Mike Cook, Springfield senior Brian Todaro, Harriton’s Erik Reiner, who won the Central League Tournament, which was also held at Turtle Creek, Penncrest senior Ethan Heller, and Radnor’s Paul Yun and Austin Dunlap. Wilner, Olseski and Cook led Kevin Pechin’s Pioneers to a perfect run in dual matches that gave them the Central League title.
Todaro had a strong showing in the district tournament, firing a 2-under 70 in the rain-delayed opening round and ending up in the group with Soeth in a tie for third at even-par 144. A 79 in the regional at Golden Oaks was not enough to get him to states.
Heller finished in a tie for second at the Central tourney with a 2-over 74 at the Turtle, but came up just short of making it to the second round at the district tournament. Yun and Dunlap earned berths at districts with nice showings at the Central tourney.
Penncrest junior Griffin Colvin, who shared second place at the Central tourney with his teammate Heller, is on the All-Central second team.
He’s joined on the team by Garnet Valley’s John Concannon, Marple Newtown’s Seamus Foley, Radnor’s Jack Fischer, Strath Haven’s Nolan Dirienzi and Jeff Painter, Springfield’s Andrew Todaro, Conestoga’s John Miller and Harriton’s Will Daly.
Honorable mention selections include Garnet Valley’s Jack Highfill, Tim Reeves, and Jake Hudock, Penncrest’s Cace Strother and Mike Chang, Haverford’s Ian Corcoran and Frank McVeigh, Upper Darby’s Mike Wolfe, Strath Haven’s Sam Brancazio, Ridley’s James Geiger, Marple Newtown’s Joey DelFranco, Harriton’s Jake Hirsh and Lower Merion’s Jack Kane.
Walker came out of the gate firing in the postseason and never let up. She had a pair of 80s at Heritage Hills, which plays at 5,375 yards and a par of 72 for the girls, to finish in a tie for fifth in her second trip to the PIAA Tournament.
She won the Central League Tournament with a sparkling 2-under 70 at Turtle Creek, came back a week later to claim runnerup honors in the District One Tournament with a 75 at Gilbertsville Golf Club’s Red and White nines and another 70 at the Turtle, and then put up a solid 3-over 75 at Golden Oaks that earned her a tie for fourth.
Walker, winner of the Pennsylvania Junior Girls title last summer, is joined on the first team by Radnor teammates Julia Curley, a junior, and Gabby Kim, a freshman, and Garnet Valley junior Annika Vandayar.
Walker, Curley, Kim and second-team All-Central pick Julianne Horgan, the Raiders’ senior captain, were unable to duplicate Radnor’s feat of winning the PIAA Class AAA team title in 2012. The Raiders lost by five shots to perennial rival Mount St. Joseph at the district tournament with the Mount going on to breeze to the PIAA crown at Heritage Hills.
Horgan is joined on the All-Central second team by Springfield’s Samantha Miller, Penncrest’s Jessica Davis and Haverford’s Keenan Eichman. Marple Newtown’s Devon DelFranco earned honorable mention.
Ilieva takes second with 93
The Philadelphia Section PGA wrapped up the fall portion of its schedule Nov. 16 with a stop at Linfield National Golf Club in western Montgomery County and Rada Ilieva, a Newtown Square resident who plays on Jim Heller’s Springfield High team, had a 93 to finish second in the 16-to-18 division.
Ilieva was six shots back of Gilbertsville’s Emily Gilbert, who took division honors with an 87. Ilieva’s Springfield teammate, Samantha Miller, was third with a 100 and Kimmy Sanna of Swarthmore was fourth with a 117.
Among the nine-holers, Boothwyn’s Corey Kan of Boothwyn, whose big sisters Aurora and Caprian have teed it up for Chichester, fired a 37 to finish in a tie for sixth. Hayden Smith of Havertown finished in a tie for ninth with a 54, James Quinn of Radnor was 11th with a 55, Ryan Harvey of Havertown was 12th with a 56 and Owen Harvey of Havertown was 15th with a 59.
In the boys 13-to-15 division, Connor Hale of Garnet Valley and Lucas Zhu of Wayne were among three players tied for 18th at 102 and Matthew Hoppe of Garnet Valley finished 22nd with a 122.