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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Soeth, Walker head All-Central first-team selections

   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 Reisner, 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 Junior Tour 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.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Colvin finishes second at Paxon Hollow

   Some of the area’s best junior golfers descended on Delaware County Saturday as one of the final events on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour’s fall series was staged at Paxon Hollow Country Club.
   After a brief frost delay, Penncrest junior Griffin Colvin, a two-time district qualifier, carded an 81 over the 5,709-yard, par-71 Paxon Hollow layout in the chilly conditions to finish in a tie for second in the 16-to-18 division. Shane McIntyre of Perkasie took top honors with an 80.
   Also in the 16-to-18 division, Jack Hirsh of Villanova finished in a tie for eighth with an 88 and Colvin’s Penncrest teammate, Cace Strother, finished in a tie for 10th with a 91.
   In the 13-to-15 age group, Ryan Brennan of Media finished second with an 85. D.J. Colleran of Radnor and Connor Hale of Garnet Valley finished in a tie for 11th with 98s, Matthew Hoppe of Garnet Valley finished 18th with a 122 and Matthew Brennan of Media finished 19th with a 123.
   In the girls 16-to-18 age group, Isabella Starke of West Chester took top honors with a 96. Notre Dame sophomore Gabriella Morganti finished third with a 103 and Julia Devine of Media finished fourth with a 104.
   Katie Lee of Ringoes, N.J. fired an impressive 82 to take top honors in the 13-to-15 division. Maggie Cass of Wayne finished second with a 116.
   Several of Delco’s youngest competitors teed it up for nine holes at Paxon Hollow, led by Dolan Cox of Newtown Square, who had a 40 to finish second, three shots back of Stephen Lorenzo of Lower Gwynedd. Lorenzo’s 37 made him the medalist among the nine-holers.
   Hayden Smith of Havertown finished fifth with a 45, Ryan Harvey of Havertown finished 11th with a 55, James Quinn of Radnor finished 12th with a 57, Owen Harvey of Havertown finished 14th with a 60 and Corey Kan of Boothwyn finished 16th with a 64.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lees goes low with 75 at The Bucks Club

   Kaitlyn Lees burst onto the scene last May when, as just a seventh-grader at Agnes Irwin, she won the Inter-Ac League’s individual title with a 46 for the front nine at Radnor Valley Country Club.
It appears that Lees, still just in eighth grade, is making rapid strides in her game. You need no more evidence than her winning score in the 13-to-15 division as the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour made a stop in its fall series at The Bucks Club in Bucks County Saturday.
   Lees fired a 5-over 75 over the William Gordon design that measures somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,500 yards for the girls. Lees’ round included 11 pars and a birdie at the 16th.  
   That’s just really good playing for anybody, let alone an eighth-grader. The next best score in her age group was a 99 by Georgia Naples of West Chester.
   The next best score of any girl in the field was the 97 posted by Samantha Miller, who recently completed her senior season at Springfield. Miller, who qualified for the District One Tournament with a 79 at the Central League Tournament at Turtle Creek Golf Club, finished first in the 16-to-18 division with a birdie at the ninth highlighting her round.
   But obviously, the course was hardly playing easy and Lees mastered it.
   Also in the 16-to-18 division, Rada Ilieva, a teammate of Miller’s at Springfield, finished second with a 105, Kimmy Sanna of Swarthmore finished third with a 108, Josephine Rider of Newtown Square finished in a tie for fourth at 109 and Julia Devine of Media was sixth with a 116.
   In the boys 16-to-18 division, Jack Hirsh of Villanova and Frankie McVeigh of Havertown finished in a tie for 21st as each carded a 97.
   In the 13-to-15 division, Lucas Zuh of Wayne finished 22nd with a 102.
   Among the nine-holers, James Quinn of Radnor finished third with a 47, Case Hummer of Glen Mills was fourth with a 48, Hayden Smith of Havertown was fifth with a 52, Owen Harvey of Havertown finished 10th with a 59 and Ryan Harvey of Havertown ended up in a tie for 11th with a 61.