By Susan Jenior
Golf is different from any other sport.
Making sure athletes have clubs can be a challenge, learning the rules is hard even for golf professionals and the techniques to hit a different shot on every hole from a par 3 to a par 5 is unique with a set of 14 clubs.
No golf course is the same and every shot is different.
It becomes imperative for schools to seek ways to build a golf program before athletes arrive on the tee in ninth grade.
The eight teams competing at the inaugural Southeast Pirates Middle School Tournament already have a solid start for the students as they move into high school.
Including the host team (the Pirates), Monday’s middle-school tournament, held at Olde Dutch Mill Golf Course in Lake Milton, Southeast’s home course, included Rootstown, Lake, Hudson, Canfield, Champion and two teams from Kent.
Both boys and girls representing their home teams played nine holes on the front nine of Olde Dutch Mill in the event organized by Dan and Heather Mix, Southeast Middle School golf coaches.
A few high-school golfers from Southeast helped the golfers with rules as did the middle school coaches, Southeast High School girls coach Cindy Fesemyer and Olde Dutch Mill director of golf, Mike Jenior.
Sammy Morgan, representing Southeast, earned medalist honors, firing a 37 1-over-par, to take home first-place medal.
Jax Turner shot a 38, good for second place for the Kent “A” team for the silver medal.
There was a tie for the bronze medal, a 40 fired by both Hudson’s Carson Kirland and Lake’s Peyton Putnam.
Lake won the tournament with a 174 final score, edging Southeast into second place by three strokes.
Many golf teams in the area also have junior varsity teams, including Kent.
The Riders’ girls team is off to a solid start for the season, including a victory at the JV Highland Invitational and a defeat of Green at the Fairways to begin their season 1-0.
Solid starts for teams as youth golfers look forward to competing on their respective high-school teams in a few years with experience and talent already included in their skills.
CHAMPION: Lake 174
MEDALIST: Sammy Morgan, Southeast 38
TEAM STANDINGS: Lake 174, Southeast 177, Champion 186, Kent A 202, Hudson 204, Canfield 210, Rootstown 219, Kent B 260.
SOUTHEAST (177): Sammy Morgan 37, Jenni Mix 51, Natahan Kinter 44, Owen Dembroski 45, Emily Morrison 53, ChaseMullens 62.
KENT A (202): Jilli Smith 53, Jax Turner 38, Brooke Beatty 54, Ian Mikula 57, Connor Pipoly 59, Mia Pipoly 69.
ROOTSTOWN (219): Drew Just 47, Brayden McColloch 61, Sheldon Nicely 58, Sam Klem 55, Troy Kropac 56, Brayden Lisi 62.
KENT B (260): Merrik Byler 78, Bryce Slack 79, Micah Frank 63, Colby Kruger 56, Sophia Petry 70, Peter Hill 76.