COLUMBUS — Finding themselves in ninth place, Elida head coach Dennis Thompson was looking for a good early start in hopes that the Bulldogs could rebound from day one’s high score and perhaps place in the upper half at the Division I state tournament Saturday at the Ohio State University Scarlet Golf Course.
However, the Bulldogs, like the first day, never found the consistency nor rhythm they were looking for early and shaved only three strokes off their total from the previous day to finish with a 330 on day two and a two-day total of 663 that put them in ninth place overall.
Dublin Jerome won state with a 607 followed by Lakota East with a 619 and rounding the top three was Cincinnati Moeller with a 630. The rest of the scores were Cincinnati St. Xavier (637), Cleveland St. Ignatius (637), Powell Olentangy Liberty (637), Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (650), Elida (663), Brunswick (679), Ashland (688) and Dover (704)
“We were hoping for a hot start when you are in ninth place,” Thompson said. “Our realistic goal was to finish sixth and we needed to come out and play well early and we did not. I thought the kids battled pretty well. Again, at this level all the golfers are good and if you don’t have your best day you are not going to move up the leader board.”
Ethan Harmon, who shot a 73 on the first day of competition, struggled on the back nine and finished with an 82 for the day for a two day total of 155. Gavin Harmon sliced three strokes off his first day score of 83 to finish with an 80 and a two-day score of 163. Carson Harmon produced an 83 on day two to finish a with a 168 for the tournament. Hunter Jolliff sliced seven strokes off his first day score with an 85 to finish and a two day total of a 177 and Riley Creps came in with a 99 and ended with a 196.
“It was still a challenge for them,” Thompson said. “If we get the right start I think then mentally they are more aggressive. But they didn’t and we got on our heels a little bit and lacked that intensity.”
Ethan Harmon had a shot at all-state but finished 16th overall. Dublin Jerome’s Tyler Groomes was the state medalist with a two day score of 142.
One factor Ethan Harmon admitted that hampered his efforts for a chance at All-Ohio honors with a top 10 finish came when around the No. 7 hole (or 16th hole for him) were some unruly fans who he admitted let get into his head and he triple-bogeyed.
“People just got in my head and it affected my game,” Ethan Harmon said.
Thompson said the tough outing at state doesn’t relinquish what this Elida accomplished this season. The Bulldogs went undefeated in every tournament during the regular season and followed it up with Western Buckeye League, sectional and district titles.
“When you go into something undefeated it is hard to keep that up and you don’t learn so much by your mistakes when you win. Having beaten everybody this year and then finding yourself not beating everybody that it is a new feeling for us.“
Thompson added that this was a great bunch of kids that worked well together.
“With three new kids (the Harmons) coming in I thought our guys embraced them well and made it a very positive situation for everybody,” Thompson said. “I’m sure this is a season they are going to remember forever.”
Gavin Harmon, who along with Ethan Harmon end their high school careers at state, and said this was a great season overall.
“It was a fantastic season,” Gavin Harmon said. “It was a great way to end my senior season as WBL champs, sectional champs, district champs and a state qualifier for a third year in a row.”
Ethan and Gavin Harmon had previously played at state for Spencerville.
Ethan Harmon echoed his brothers sentiment and said the added bonus of getting to play with younger brother Carson made it even more special and he is going to miss playing on a team with both of his siblings.
“I’m heartbroken because I don’t get to play with my family anymore,” Ethan Harmon said. “All three of us enjoyed playing together.”