BOWLING GREEN – The Lima Central Catholic girls golf team will have to share the state spotlight with its male counterparts after the Thunderbirds qualified for the Division III boys state tournament at Stone Ridge Golf Club Saturday.
LCC finished with a team score of 338 to finish behind Division III northwest district champions Pettisville which finished with a 333.
Minster took third with a score of 345 and Delphos St. John’s edged out Allen East by one stroke, 348-349, to snag the final state berth. The
top four team scores and the top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to Columbus.
“We are very happy,” LCC head coach Dave Schmiedebusch said. “One of goals this year was to get a leg up further than last year and that’s what we did. Last year we got here but couldn’t move on and this year the team was solid and had a really good year for us.”
Freshman Parker Judy led the team with an 80 followed by Ross Otto shooting an 82 and Alex Wisser carded an 84. Casey Koenig rounded out the top four with a 92 and Brady Koenig ended up with a 100.
Schmiedebusch said health was the big difference from last year to this year.
“My No. 1 was concussed so he couldn’t play and during play here I lost my No. 3 who hurt himself during the play so I didn’t even finish with a full team so I had to turn in a partial team score but this year we are senior dominated and they pulled it together and we have gotten better as the year has gone on.”
The Thunderbirds, who were coming off a second place finish at sectionals behind Delphos St. John’s, finished tied with the Blue Jays at the turn with a 169.
On the back nine for the Thunderbirds, Schmiedebusch said the team stayed focus and produced some low scores.
“I know the guys don’t feel like they played their best and feel like maybe there was some shots left out there and sure everybody does that but it is hard when you have high expectations and things start going wrong, and they pulled themselves together to get back on track,” Schmiedebusch said. “They did a good job.”
Delphos St. John’s was another team that kept its composure late to secure the final slot and coach John Klausing said those years of almost making it finally broke in the team’s favor this season.
This marks the first time Delphos has been to state since the late 1990s.
Sophomore Jack Gerker led the team with a 79 followed by senior Trent Lindeman with an 85 and Collin Feathers with a 91. Senior Jeffery Odenweller carded a 93 and sophomore Caden Wright ended up with a 101.
“We got that fourth score,” Klausing said. “We had a couple of guys that had some bad holes at the beginning but they knew we had a strong four and we had somebody on the front nine shoot a 36 (Lindeman) and that is the lowest he ever shot.”
Klausing added that you always worry about the fourth score. He mentioned that last year they finished five strokes from making it to state and another year they missed by one.
“That what happens and that is why it is something to get to state because one or two things can happen and it can be one or two strokes,” Klausing said. “I think seventh and eighth place were one or two strokes out.”
Individually, Allen East’s Zach Miller made it to state after tying for second place with a 76.
Delphos Jefferson’s Logan Gallmeier shot a 78 to finish sixth overall but lost in a playoff to Carson Kennedy for the last individaul spot.
Brady Hoelscher (80), Joseph Magoto (85), Ray Purdy (89) and Nathan Beair (91) combined for Minster’s state qualifying team total.