By Rob Kiser
ARCANUM, GREENVILLE — The Lehman Catholic and Newton boys golf teams had breakout seasons a year ago — now both are ready to take the next step.
Both advanced to the D-III district tournament as sectional champions — Lehman at Beechwood Golf Course and Newton at Turtle Creek Golf Course. They will be joined at next Wednesday’s district tournament at Glenview Golf Course by Covington senior Andrew Slusher — who advanced as an individual at Turtle Creek Monday.
The Cavaliers — coming off a second-place finish at sectionals a year ago — rode the triple threat of Tyler Lachey, Cole Gilardi and Ryan Schmidt to their first sectional title as team since 20111.
Lehman shot 341, good for a nine-shot victory over Fort Loramie.
“Definitely,” Lachey, who led Lehman with a 78, said. “There was (a different expectation level) this year. We wanted to finish as high as we could today to give us a good draw (tee assignment) at district. When our first three guys plays well, we know we are going to do well. And our fourth and fifth guys have been doing what they need to do.”
Lehman coach Eric Harlamert agreed.
“This has been almost a perfect season,” he said. “We won the league (NWCC) title. We have won almost every match we have played. These kids have done a great job. Our first three guys are really solid and our fourth and fifth guys have been working hard and really coming on.”
Gilardi had an 81, Schmidt and 85, Griffin West a 97 and Mikey Rossman a 98.
It will be Lachey’s third straight trip to district — and ironically, the third straight year it will be played on a different course.
“Last year, it was at Beavercreek Golf Club,” Lachey said. “I went down and played Glenview a couple weeks ago. I liked it. Definitely, the goal is to get to state.”
And the Cavaliers aren’t done yet.
“We have several guys that played at district last year,” Harlamert said. “And a couple of them have already played the course in hopes of making it down there to district. The experience last year should help as well.”
Houston finished eighth with a 391 total.
Wildcat scores were Cameron Via 86, Bryan Funk 97, Collin Walker 104, Cole Pitchford 104 and Nathan Stangel 109.
Russia finished 12th with a 420 total.
Raider scores were Jack Dapore 96, Brandon Koverman 100, Will Sherman 108, Evan Coverstone 116 and Drew Sherman 124.
Newton recorded an eight-shot victory with a 346 total, while junior Chet Jamison was medalist with a 78.
Slusher was one stroke further back with a 79 to take the first individual spot.
The Indians, who have just one senior in the lineup, finished second a year ago and won the sectional title for the first time in school history.
Other Newton scores were Garrett Peters 84, Drew Thiesing 91, Ross Ferrell 93 and Nate Zielinski 95.
“To be honest, winning the team title means more to me than being medalist,” Chet Jamison said. “I think we have a really good chance to get to state — if not this year, then next year.”
Coming off winning the CCC tournament, Randall Jamison was not surprised by the Indians performance.
“The FM Invitational (at Turtle Creek) gave us a pretty good gauge where we should be on this course,” Jamison said. “We shot 347 that day and we shot 346 today. It is nice to win sectional, but we have bigger goals ahead.”
And while Chet Jamison always expects to go low, he wasn’t complaining about taking medalist honors.
“It is always nice (to be medalist),” he said. “Even though, I know this course like the back of my hand. I play here all the time.”
Slusher accomplished his biggest goal, playing in the district tournament.
“That was one of my top goals this season,” he said. “I felt pretty comfortable out there.”
He had a putt on the last hole to tie Jamison for medalist honors, but just missed.
“It was a good putt,” Slusher said. “It almost went in. I think having been at district before is going to help me. Hopefully I can go down there and play well.”
Covington coach Bill Wise thinks he will.
“Last year, he hadn’t played Beavercreek other than a practice round and he played well,” Wise said. “So, I think he can do the same thing this year at Glenview. I know he wants to set the school record for low average. The record is 38.6 and I think he is around 38.4 for nine holes”
Covington finished 10th with a 427 total.
Other Bucc scores were Jack Shell 112, Hunter Alexander 115, Dylan Lucas 121 and Grant Humphrey 123.
Bradford scores were Hayden Dickerson 95, Eric Sanders 120 and Brayden Sanders 145.
The Springfield D-II sectional was played Monday as well at Reid Park North.
Miami East finished 11th with a 395 total.
Viking scores were Sam Zapadka 91, Zac Johnson 93, Cooper Elleman 101, Jack Runner 110 and Keegan Mahaney 113.
Versailles boys will play in the D-II sectional at Pipestone today, while Covington, Miami East and Versailles girls will play in the D-II sectional at Stillwater Valley Golf Club today.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.