For the second consecutive season the Lakota East Boys Golf Team will return to the OHSAA Boys Division 1 State Golf Championship. The Thunderhawks turned in a tremendous performance Thursday at the Division I district tournament, finishing second at Glenview Golf Course. The East boys will join the East girls golf team, who also punched their ticket to the state tourney, earlier this week. The accomplishments of both of these teams is a unique rarity in high school sports as two programs from the same school, same sport, compete for state titles in the same season.
East totaled 301 strokes and trailed only two-time defending state champion St. Xavier (292) on the par-72 course. Mason (308) also grabbed a team spot at the state tournament, which is set for the Ohio State University Scarlet Course in Columbus on Oct. 20-21.
Junior Kyle Schmidt paced the Thunderhawks at district with a third-place individual finish. He carded a 37-34—71 on an overcast, damp day at the Glenview links. Seniors Drew Mahon (37-39—76) and Alex Dunaway (40-38—78) also scored for the Thunderhawks, as did sophomore Brock Aten (38-38—76).
There are 27 holes at Glenview — the East Course served as the front nine, while the South Course was the back nine. The back tees were used, meaning the event played more than 500 yards longer than the Greater Miami Conference tournament that was held at Glenview last month.
The Southwest District is arguably the strongest in Ohio, at least in recent years. The last three D-I state champions — Moeller won it in 2014 — have come from this area. East finished seventh in the state in 2008 and last year. The 2016 tourney was shortened to 18 holes by inclement weather.
“We’re very excited. It’s so hard to get to Columbus,” said East head coach Jeff Combs. “Getting back to state was one of the expectations of our year. We’ve played with the best teams in the state all year long. If we play our best, we can hang with them.”
The Thunderhawks have been GMC champions the last four years. Mason has been the runner-up each season. The last time two GMC schools advanced to Columbus in the same year was 1994. Fairfield and Lakota were the state qualifiers.
“This is a great day for the GMC,” Combs said. “We were rooting hard for Mason. Our guys love all their guys, and we like their coach (Tim Lambert) a lot. They’re as good as we are. Anytime we beat them, we’re really excited.”
Team Standings–Top Three Advance To State
- St. Xavier 292; 2. Lakota East 301; 3. Mason 308; 4. (tie) Centerville, Elder 311; 6. Springboro 319; 7. Moeller 320; 8. Loveland 320; 9. Lebanon 338; 10. Beavercreek 341; 11. Fairmont 342; 12. Fairfield 344; 13. Troy 349; 14. Hamilton 357; 15. Bellefontaine 371; 16. Tippecanoe 381
Top Five Individuals
- Austin Greaser (Vandalia Butler) 33-37—70, 2. Oscar Zimmerman (St. Xavier) 33-37—70, 3. Kyle Schmidt (Lakota East) 37-34—71; 4. (tied) Tyler Goecke (Carroll) 37-35—72; Michael Prebles (St. Xavier) 36-36—72
Congratulations to all the players and coaches and good luck at STATE!