ASHLAND — If the first day of the high school boys golf season is any indication of Loudonville’s potential talent, it just might be a magical fall in southern Ashland County.
After firing a 346 at last year’s Simonson Invitational, the Redbirds carded a 319 to cruise to a 13-shot victory in the annual event Thursday afternoon at Brookside Golf Course.
Loudonville coach Jim Conley was all smiles after his team easily topped second-place Ontario (332) and the rest of the field.
“This is pretty great,” said Conley. “I knew we would play well, but I sure didn’t know we would win, and I am just thrilled with the turnout.”
Chandeler Gribble leads all linksters
Loudonville was led by Chandeler Gribble, who fired a round of 76 to lead the competition.
“This feels pretty great,” said Gribble on the team victory. “It shows a lot of promise for us this season.”
Gribble left the driver in the bag all day, using a 3-wood on his path to the overall medalist title.
“I used the 3-wood off the tee on every tee,” he said.
Judah Layton was just one stroke behind his teammate, tying two other golfers with a 77.
“This feels great,” said Layton. “I know from last year when we won a tournament it felt amazing, and coming out here for our first tournament of the season with all these guys is really amazing.”
Isaac Gessner (80), Gabe Gerhart (86) and Brendon Hess (86) also scored for Loudonville.
Ashland-area teams perform well
Northwestern had a nice start to the season as the Huskies shot a 338 for a fourth-place finish.
Kylee Purdy fired identical 39s for a solid round of 78 to finish seventh overall and lead the Huskies. Luke Walton had an 80, Joe Buchholz finished with an 87 and Easton Thomas finished with a 93.
Northwestern coach Scott St. Clair liked what he saw from his team in its first tournament of the season.
“We shook the rust off today,” he said. “We had some mistakes out there, but I don’t think you necessarily want to come out and fire that ultimate round and then think, ‘Now I don’t have to work.’ We played pretty well, and we left some shots out there as well.
“This is a great tournament with some great teams. All in all, this is a great start for us.”
Crestview shot a 362 to finish eighth. Aaron Spencer led the way with an 81 and was followed by Dylan Bruner with an 89.
Mapleton fired a 371 to place 11th. Dalton Beattie paced the Mounties with a 77, finishing fourth overall. Nolan Dennison chipped in an 89.
First-year Mapleton coach Adam Harding enjoyed what he saw on the course.
“It was pretty good,” he said. “At the beginning of the season, we all just wanted to get loose and warm up for the season and get into the groove of playing. I told the kids we need to work on teeing off. I think that area is where most of them struggled today. We will work on the long game at practice.”
Hillsdale (13th) shot a 389, New London (14th) finished with a 392 and Black River (15th) carded a 479. The Ashland junior varsity team finished with a 450.
Falcons coach Mark Colter took notice of Byron Bickel leading the way with a 79.
“We did pretty well individually,” he said. “Byron Bickel shot a 79, and that is his personal best. As a team, we are young with two freshmen. This is my first time we have had a qualifier [for medalist]. Coming into this, we are a little green.”
Landon Timms (100) and AJ Brown (101) rounded out the top three for Hillsdale.
“At first, I started out kind of unlucky,” said Bickel, who shot a 40 and 39. “I had some bad lies but got through those pretty well. On the back nine, I played pretty well.”
New London was led by Carter Eibel (88) and Brody Sword (94).
Wildcats coach Zack Parr was happy with his team’s effort and improvement.
“I have a pretty young team this year, and I am happy with today,” he said. “Our overall goal is to break 400, and we shot a 392. So, to start the year off with that is a good stepping stone for us. Carter shot an 88, and that is a good place for him to start with. Add a freshman in Brody with a 94, and that is a great first tournament score. And Kendyl Moffit shot a 103, and that is her best round ever. She has been playing awesome for us.”
Charlotte Falsone had a 108 to lead the Pirates.
This article originally appeared on the Ashland Times Gazette: Loudonville boys golf wins Simonson Invitational team title