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Par for the Course: Rootstown principal aces test of Sunny Hill’s third hole

Par for the Course: Rootstown principal aces test of Sunny Hill’s third hole


By Susan Jenior

Staff Writer

Cody Berg, Rootstown principal, following his ace

Cody Berg, Rootstown High School principal, was already having a good day supporting the Rootstown Sports Boosters in the annual outing at Sunny Hill Golf Club when he stepped up to the tee on the third hole.

The par-4 fairway is 300 yards to the cup from tee to green over rolling terrain.

No problem for Berg, who used his driver to hit the perfect ball that landed just inches beyond the cup and rolled back in for an ace.

An albatross.

That 3-under-par score is rare in golf, but impressive to his team and colleagues as word traveled around the course about the outstanding shot.

Berg’s colleagues may not be surprised.

It is his second, solid performance in front of staff, as Berg, bowling at a Christmas party, rolled a 300 perfect game. There may not be another principal in the state of Ohio that has a perfect game and an ace accomplished in front of staff.

Berg graduated from Garrettsville’s Garfield High School, where he played golf and advanced to the state bowling tournament for the G-Men in 2010-2011, earning 13th place out of 117 bowlers, rolling games of 251, 184 and 185 for a 620 series.

The Rover Scramble included 120 golfers on 30 teams, with the Dan Nicholas team earning the victory at 14-under-par. Team members included: Nicholas, Pat Dye, Rob Gumino and Steve Nero.



This Wednesday, golfers will fill the fairways of Windmill Lakes Golf Club to support the outstanding Kent State Golden Flashes golf programs.

Proud supporters and alumni of Kent State have gathered at Windmill Lakes in Ravenna for the annual invitational that is an essential part of the Kent State golf program’s success thanks to the fundraising efforts and proceeds from the event.

Developed by Richard and Dennis Rango, the outing includes 18 holes of golf, a steak dinner and a post-round Rango Raffle that includes thousands of dollars in golf equipment, apparel and supplies.

This season’s outing will be bittersweet following the death of longtime supporter, Emilio Ferrara. Ferrara and his wife, Margaret Ferrara, and Herb Page, retired Golden Flashes golf coach and director of golf at Windmill Lakes, are the namesakes on the Ferrara-Page Golf Training and Learning Facility that opened in 2007.

As always, The Rango coincides with the popular Windmill Lakes Tent Sale, beginning Tuesday at 1 p.m. and is open daily through Aug. 20 at 10 a.m.

For information on The Rango or the Windmill Tent Sale, call the golf course at 330-297-0440.



The 53rd Portage County Amateur will tee off at Raccoon Hill Golf Club in Kent for 18 holes on Aug. 26 and conclude the second round on Aug. 27 at Windmill Lakes. It is the final event of four amateurs under the Portage County tournament umbrella.

Several new opportunities for junior golfers are in the future for the 2024 season, but first, a wrap-up of the Kids Am and Junior Am held at the end of July.



The talented junior golfers in Portage County competed in the 9th Portage County Kids Amateur and the 17th Matt Mishler Junior Portage County Amateur July 23-25.

Junior golfers filled both Sunny Hill Golf Course in Brimfield and Windmill Lakes Golf Course in Ravenna for three days to start Portage County Amateur week.



More than 30 junior golfers, ranging from ages 5 to 14, played in the annual event that encourages golfing fun. Depending on age, kids play either four, six or nine holes on Sunny Hill Golf Course holes 19 through 27, popularly known as the Middle Nine. It is the perfect course for the youth as well as many of the high-school girls and boys teams that call the fairways of the Brimfield course home.

9th Kids Am Champions

Scorekeepers from high-school golf teams, including Kent Roosevelt varsity girls and alumni as well as Southeast girls varsity golfers, walk with the junior golfers to help with scoring and rules in, for many of the kids, their first tournament.

Parents cheer when the ball travels 4 feet as the fun is encouraged as the junior golfers develop a sport they can play their entire life.

Every child receives a certificate recognizing their participation as only the low score in each division receives a medal.

Bryan Harvey and Larry Picicco, Kent Roosevelt varsity and junior varsity golf coaches, not only bring ice cream for the kids to enjoy at the end of the round, they were the impetus for the start of the Kids Amateur nine years ago, originally as an extension of the little girls golf program at Kent.

Every adult should watch the kids in this event as girls skip around the golf course and boys are smiling every time they hit the golf ball.

For every golfer, even struggling through a round, this is how golf should always be.

Champions in each division included: Brooke Beatty of Kent, Alexander Peelish of Ravenna, Colbie Kruger of Kent, Nathan Kinter of Rootstown, Gerren Waesch of Rootstown, Rosalina Chavez of Kent, Sophia Renard of Kent and Bo Birchak of Lake Milton.



(At Sunny Hill Golf Course, Brimfield)


GIRLS GROUP A: Brooke Beatty, Kent 44; Jenni Mix, Diamond 50

BOYS GROUP A: Alexander Peelish, Ravenna 45; Nathan Waesch, Rootstown 47; Braydon McColloch, Rootstown 51; Aidan Battaglia, Rootstown 53.

GIRLS GROUP B: Colbie Kruger, Kent 51; Sopohia Petry, Kent 68; Bianca Blair 71; Emma Smith 73.

BOYS GROUP B: Nathan Kinter Rootstown; Landyn Fortner, Mogadore 68.

BOYS GROUP C: Gerren Waesch, Rootstown 28; Connor Raslan Ravenna 33; Jaxon DiMichele, Streetsboro 37.

GIRLS GROUP C: Rosalina Chavez, Kent 35; Aubrey Beamer, Green 40; Tatum Wolfe 48.

GIRLS GROUP D: Sophia Renard, Kent 25; Emily Taiclet, Kent 26; Reagan Midock, New Franklin 27; Shea Duncan, Kent 28; Josie Lehman, Kent 28; Cayden Murphy, Kent 28; Charlotte Lipinski, Kent 30; Teddy Beale, Kent 31; JoJo Birchak, Lake Milton 31,

BOYS GROUP D: Bo Birchak, Lake Milton 27; Walter Asher, Uniontown 41.



Boys 12 and under winners from the left, Connor Roslan, Mason Dillon and Bo Birchak

While the Kids Am is all about fun, the Junior Amateur showcases local individuals that golf fans will find on the fairways of Portage County playing for their high school and middle school teams during the upcoming season.

The youth golfers play 18 holes at Windmill Lakes Golf Course, Ravenna, followed by 18 holes at Sunny Hill Golf Course, Brimfield.

Winning the boys 16-19 age division was Lucas Butler, a member of the Portage Trail Conference defending champion Mogadore Wildcats. He bested Jackson Eichler of Atwater, on the Waterloo Vikings varsity boys team, by six strokes over the 36-hole event.

Ashlyn Leavery of Kent, and member of the Kent Rooseevelt Rough Riders’ girls program, shot a low round of 89 at Windmill Lakes on the way to a 36-hole winning total in the Girls 16-19 age division. Samantha Clark of Streetsboro fired her way to second place followed by Anna Picicco of Kent in third.

Boys 13 to 15 winners Dakota Powers, Jack Flynn and Andrew Just

The boys 13-15 age division was hotly contested, with anyone capable of grabbing the lead.

Jack Flynn of Kent fired a two-round total of 207 to sneak by Dakota Powers of Mantua by only three strokes. Andrew Just of Rootstown took home the bronze medal with a 215.

Kent Roosevelt’s girls team is looking good for the coming season, as Cassidy Singer earned the trophy in the girls 13-15 age division, playing her way to a two-round total of 177. Two Southeast Pirates girl golf team members finished in second and third. Jenni Mix of Diamond shot a 199 two-round total, with Aubrey Varga of Palmyra edging into third place with rounds of 105-100 (205).

The boys and girls in the 12-and-under division play nine holes each day.

Boys 16-19 winners Jackson Eichler and Lucas Butler

The boys top-three included future Southeast Pirates Mason Dillon of Rootstown (76), Bo Birchak of Lake Milton (106) and Conner Roslan of Ravenna (123).

The girls in the 12-and-under division are all good friends on the golf course, playing together in several youth tournaments in the area. Sia Kohara of Cuyahoga Falls won the Kids Am (39-44—83) with Elizabeth Jia of Hudson (40-49—89) and Ayreana Rippey of Mogadore (46-59—105) taking home second and third.

Thank you to everyone, including Fairways of Twin Lakes and Birdie Shack of Kent, title sponsors for both the Kids Am and the Junior Am, and the golf courses that continue to  host successful and fun events for junior golfers in Portage County.




Girls 12 and under winners Elizabeth Jia, Sia Kohara and Ayreana Rippey


BOYS 16-19: Lucas Butler, Mogadore 81-81 162; Jackson Eichler, Atwater 84-84 168; Graham Larsen, Hudson 89-84 173; Austin Biggin, Rootstown 90-91 181; Tyler Pendergast, Mogadore 97-89 186; Matthew Kurtz, Stow 87-99 186; Drew Flarida, Atwater 101-102 203; Trentan Sines, Rootstown 121-104 224.

GIRLS 16-19: Ashlyn Leavery, Kent 89-96 185; Samantha Clark, Streetsboro 105-96 201 Anna Picicco, Kent 103-102 205.

BOYS 13-15: Jack Flynn, Kent 104-103 207; Dakota Powers, Mantua 105-105 210; Andrew Just, Rootstown 100-115 215: William Jia, Hudson 106-113 219.

Girls 13-15 champs Aubrey Varga, Jenni Mix and Cassidy Singer

GIRLS 13-15: Cassidy Singer, Kent 91-86 177; Jenni Mix, Diamond 99-100 199; Aubrey Varga, Palmyra 105-100-205; Ella Houk, Kent 101-106 207; Alexandria Biggin, Rootstown 110-98 208; Jessi Mix, Diamond 107-104 211; Adrianna Sloan, Diamond 113-108 221; Kathryn Ennemosser, Ravenna 114-116 230.

BOYS 12 AND UNDER (Nine holes each day): Mason Dillon, Rootstown 36-40-76; Bo Birchak, Lake Milton 48-58 106; Conner Roslan, Ravenna 61-62 123

GIRLS 12 AND UNDER (Nine holes each day): Sia Kohara, Cuyahoga Falls 39-44 83; Elizabeth Jia, Hudson 40-49 89; Ayreana Rippey, Mogadore 46-59 105.

Girls 16-19 winners Samantha Clark, Ashlyn Leavery, Anna Picicco


At the Rover Scramble, Berg’s ace on the par four, third hole, obviously resulted in a skin, but that was not the only unusual and celebrated part of the popular skins game.

Skins were earned via an eagle on the first hole, a par 4 — and an eagle on the difficult second hole, a dogleg par 4.

So, the skins and the outing started out with successful teams only needing five strokes total before continuing the rest of their 18 holes.

I can’t imagine another tournament or outing in the state that recorded those scores to start event.



(Please call 330-206-9083 or email golff2@gmail.com to add an event to the calendar.)


Register at host courses, online at pcagolf.net or via Venmo and Paypal. Call 330-206-9083 for information.


Aug. 26-Raccoon Hill, Kent; Aug. 27-Windmill Lakes, Ravenna. Registration deadline $100 by Aug. 23rd. Divisions: age 50-59, 60-69, 70 and older, women.



Wednesday: 37th Rango Invitational, Windmill Lakes Golf Club, Ravenna. (Supports Kent State golf program.)

Aug. 18: 37th Hattie Larlham Golf Classic, Sugar Bush Golf Classic. (Registration — $650/foursome; hattielarlham.org).



(The Northern Ohio PGA has a host off tournaments throughout northern Ohio for all ages and skills. Local tournaments are included here. For a complete list and to register online log onto www.thenorthernohiopga.com and click junior golf.)

Monday — 18-Hole Collegiate Series, Barrington Golf Club, Aurora.

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