By Susan Jenior
Southeast junior Taylor Blazek was invited by the Southeast Board of Education to be recognized for her outstanding achievement during the 2023 golf season.
The Board of Education presented Blazek with a Recognition of Excellence.
Blazek was the first Southeast golfer ever to qualify for the state tournament. She placed 14th in Division II, coming out a district which included the top-12 girls and 12 teams in the state.
The Northern Ohio PGA hosted the inaugural Ohio Junior Cup at Westfield Country Club in Westfield Oct. 28 and 29, pitting the best prep golfers from both the Southern Ohio and Northern Ohio PGA against each other in a Ryder-Cup style tournament the weekend following the OHSAA State Tournament.
The golfers competed in four-ball and individual matches.
When the final individual matches had completed on Sunday, the Northern Ohio PGA took home the Junior Ohio Cup.
Gracyn Vidovic, a junior, and Brooklyn Millard, a senior, both of Aurora, were members of the NOPGA junior cup team and both were victorious throughout their matches.
The seasoned competitors, Millard earned her way on the team by winning the NOPGA Junior PGA Section Championship and Gracyn Vidovic was the NOPGA Player of the Year and competed at the OHSAA Division I state tournament as an individual, didn’t lose a match.
Vidovic and her partner won 6 & 4 in the four-ball matches. Millard’s team were 5 & 4 in their competition on Saturday as the NOPGA was ahead of the SOPGA 6.5 to 1.5 points at the end of the first day.
On Sunday, Millard was outstanding, winning 8 & 7 and Vidovic bested her opponent from the SOPGA 3 & 2.
The final awards were presented as the Northern Ohio PGA won 16 to 8 points, with plans to schedule the 2nd annual Ohio Junior Cup for 2024.
No one can make you good in golf.
The prep golfer has to put in the work and take every opportunity to practice, listen to great advice from golf instructors, and put themselves in every situation possible on the golf course.
Liam Curtis, of Kent, did that as he took the opportunity for his second trip to the OHSAA State Tournament to earn Second Team All-Ohio honors.
Liam has a great coach and mentor, thanks to his father, Ben Curtis.
The British Open Champion also won the OHSAA State Tournament, taking home back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995 as he competed for Delaware Buckeye Valley.
The coach commonly does not mention his personal accolades as he talks about his team and his son and their accomplishments.
For the elder Curtis, the spotlight belongs elsewhere these days.
Curtis wants the focus on the high school golfers and their accomplishments.
Also following Liam Curtis at the state tournament was Brett Beatty, who is a Portage County Amateur champion that also advanced to the state tournament in high school.
Playing for Kent Roosevelt, the 1996 team that advanced to the state tournament to finish in sixth place included Beatty, Randy Dietz, Chris Graham, Justin Miller and Ola Rosberg.
A story on the Mogadore Wildcats’ three-peat at the state championships is on its way for Portage Sports.
The Wildcats won in 1971, 1972 and 1973.
Possibly the only Portage County team, regardless of sport, that has won three state championships consecutively.
At the same time the Wildcats were making history, Mike Morrow, the former successful Kent State University women’s golf coach earned the individual state championship (1971) representing Stow-Munroe Falls.
Finally, Mitch Camp, longtime director of golf at Club Walden, home of the Aurora girls varsity golf team, earned the state championship in 1975 representing Hubbard.