By Susan Jenior
Golf is a family.
Rarely do I attend any tournament, golf outing, scramble or high-school match that someone doesn’t say, “Do you remember me?”
Everyone considers their teams a family, but golf stretches farther than that.
Golfers walk 18 holes with three golfers from other towns and other schools, often spending 4 to 6 hours with their pairing every match.
Parents, brothers and sisters follow the golfers, chatting with other family members and usually wishing the best for everyone in the group.
It is my favorite part of golf.
Knowing that you are responsible for your own score and management of the golf course, you are not only playing against the people in your foursome. You are playing against the golf course to discover who shoots the lowest score.
So it was no surprise to me, at the state tournament, that a spectator came up on the tee of the fourth hole and said, “Do you remember me?”
When he jogged my memory, of course I remembered him.
He was the son of Persh Rohrer, editor emeritus of the Record-Courier and someone I had worked with for 20 years. No surprise to see a relative of Persh’s on the golf course since he penned a popular golf column for the R-C every Sunday for about four decades.
His son pointed to his nephew, Persh’s grandson, who had qualified for the state tournament, representing Stow, and was playing as an individual.
A.J. Halsne was teeing off as we spoke. He advanced to the state tournament after winning a playoff at Pine Hills for the final-qualifying spot to the state tournament.
Halsne taught himself to play golf during the summer, and this year, as a sophomore he qualified for the state tournament.
Halsne was carrying golf tees with the name “Persh” on them.
His mom, Amy Wilson Halsne, knew that Persh would have been thrilled that his grandson had made it to the final tournament for high school students to end their season. And his grandmother Anita Carr contacted Tom Nader, Portage Sports publisher and former sports editor of the Record-Courier, who had worked for Persh Rohrer until Rohrer’s retirement and had kept in touch.
So many connections.
I was thrilled to watch A.J. tee off and know the connections to the Portage Sports family.
Sydnie Leavery competed for four years on the successful Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders varsity girls golf team.
Her list of accomplishments included state qualifier in 2021, her senior year; three-year letterwinner and First Team All-Suburban League for three years along with Northeast Ohio Honorable Mention.
Following high-school golf, Sydnie signed a letter of intent to attend La Salle University to play varsity women’s golf for the Division-I team.
The sophomore just finished competing for La Salle in the Colonel Wollenberg Ptarmagin Ram Classic at Ptarmagin Golf Club in Fort Collins, Colorado, where the La Salle Explorers finished in 11th place.
Leavery was busy this summer, not only competing in the Portage County Amateur, but also starting a newsletter for the Fairways at Twin Lakes to keep golfers informed about tournaments, Rough Rider practices and the Little Riders golf program.
Sydnie is the daughter of Troy and Shannon Leavery of Kent. Her sister, Ashlyn, is a member of this year’s Kent Roosevelt team that qualified for the OHSAA Division I District this season.