Sunday, October 22, 2000

Lakota West rallies for state golf title

Overtakes Ashland after trailing by six strokes

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COLUMBUS — The crowd was hushed as the final golfers, Kenton Hobbs of Lakota West and John Locke of Ashland, walked toward the scoring area.

        Lakota West trailed Ashland by five strokes and needed Hobbs to be at least six better better than Locke for the Firebirds to win the Division I state boys championship.

        Moments later, the scores were posted: Hobbs finished with a two-under par 70 to Locke's 80, giving Lakota West the championship.

        The Firebirds two-day total on Ohio State's Scarlet Course was 633, with Ashland second at 638.

        St. Xavier shot 654 to finish sixth.

        In Division III, Middletown Fenwick shot 621 to finish 11th, and Summit Country Day came in 12th at 623.

        Summit golfer Wes Homan was named first-team all-state, shooting a 142 and finishing fifth, three strokes behind medalist Justin Kruse of Toledo Ottawa Hills.

        Hobbs struggled with an 83 during Friday's 18 hole round.

        “I thought my swing was terrible and kept trying to adjust it all day,” Hobbs said. “My dad told me last night that it was my stance and not to mess with the swing.”

        Hobbs shot a 70 Saturday for a two-day total of 153, one stroke behind medalist Nate Strong of Massillon Jackson, and was named first-team all-state.

        Another golfer who arose to the occasion Saturday was Matt Cushman, who shot a 45 on the front nine but had a two-under 34 on the back nine.

        “I did the same thing on Friday,” Cushman said. “To me, the back nine is much easier and I had confidence I could do it. I birdied No.14 and No.18.”

        Jack Buhi, in his 31st year coaching golf at Lakota and Lakota West, may have been the happiest of the group.

        “It's hard to describe but it's a tremendous feeling,” Buhi said. “I was originally hired as a football coach in 1970. Golf was played in the spring back then and I took the job when offered.”

        Prospects for winning the state title weren't bright after Friday's first round that saw the Firebirds shoot a 324, six strokes behind Ashland.

        “That was our second-worst round of the season,” Buhi said. “But these kids have come back all season and I thought we had a chance to win it.”

        This was the Firebirds' third consecutive appearance at the state meet. They finished ninth in 1998 and fourth last season, which proved to be the motivation.

        “We shot 662 last year and only lost by nine strokes, and they knew they could have won it,” Buhi said.

        “Last year our goal was to do alright at state,” said Brent Hubert, who shot a 77 on Saturday. “The difference this year is that we had five guys with only one goal, and that was to win it.”

        DIVISION I
        1, Lakota West ....... 324-309—633

        2, Ashland ....... 318-320—638
        3, Massillon Jackson ....... 324-317—641
        4, Cle. St. Ignatius ....... 325-321—646
        5, Lewis Center Olentangy ....... 328-321—649
        6, St. Xavier ....... 325-329—654
        1, Nate Strong, Massillon Jackson ....... 79-73—152
        2, Kenton Hobbs, Lakota West ....... 83-70—153
        2, (tie) Colin Biles, Upper Arlington ....... 77-76—153
        4, Tom Wirtz, Massillon Jackson ....... 76-78—154
        5, Andy VonDerau, Centerville ....... 81-74—155
        5, (tie), Jason Gerken, Logan ....... 79-76—155
        7, Ted Smith, Cle. St. Ignatius ....... 79-77—156
        8, Doug Garis, Westerville N. ....... 83-74—157
        8, (tie) Chris Wilson, Dublin Coffman ....... 78-79—157
        8, (tie) John Locke, Ashland ....... 77-80—157
        Other Lakota West finishers: Roddy Stieger 79-83—162; Brent Hubert (81-77—158; Ryan Williams 88-83—171; Matt Cushman 81-79— 160)
        St. Xavier: Andrew Deye 80-85—165; Steven Gay 80-81—161; Trevor Kramer 88-86—174; Brad Blinn 85-84—169; Andrew Rindfleisch 80- 79—159).
        Kevin Vollmer, Oak Hills 83-78—161
        Eddie Baker, Hamilton 75-84—159


        1, Warren JFK ....... 293-292—585
        2, Worthington Christian ....... 304-293—597
        3, Tol. Ottawa Hills ....... 307-296—603
        4, Gahanna Cols. Academy ....... 302-303—605
        5, Bedford Chanel ....... 306-305—611
        6, Mansfield St. Peter's ....... 307-305—612
        7, Waterford ....... 306-307—613
        8, Lima Cent. Cath. ....... 310-304—614
        9, Kalida ....... 308-307—615
        10, Portsmouth Notre Dame ....... 312-307—619
        11, Middletown Fenwick ....... 312-309—621
        12, Cin. Summit Country Day ....... 313-310—623
        1, Justin Kruse, Tol. Ottawa Hills ....... 69-70—139
        2, Seth Raymond, Worth. Christian ....... 73-67—140
        2, (tie) Colin Clemente, Warren JFK ....... 71-69—140
        4, David Huestis, Gah. Cols. Acad. ....... 69-72—141
        5, Wes Homan, SCD ....... 71-71—142
        6, Tom Ballinger, Mans. St. Peter's ....... 72-71—143
        7, Seth Winkle, Kalida ....... 69-75—144
        7, (tie) Kyle Litter, Bain. Paint Valley ....... 75-69—144
        7, (tie) Joe Hurtuk, Bedford Chanel ....... 73-71—144
        10, (tie) Jason Kokrak, Warren JFK ....... 72-73—145
        Other SCD finishers: Sheldon 79-79—158; Ragland 78-85—163; Cruz 85-75—160; Treman 88-85—173.
        Middletown Fenwick (621): Manning 78-74— 152; Kreke 74-80—158; Kreke 83-76—159; Senter 84-77—161).

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