Flyers quietly building dynasty
Edison team to beat in SBC
By DAN GILLES
Morning Journal Writer
Football and volleyball aren’t the only fall sports St. Paul has been dominating the last several years.
Quietly, the Flyers’ golf team has won the Firelands Conference seven straight years and have a legitimate shot at No. 8 in a row. All this when Dave Weisenberger took over a downtrodden program seven years ago.
“St. Paul had only won two conference titles in the first 32 years this golf team existed,” Weisenberger said. “But our success hasn’t just been winning the Firelands Conference, which isn’t exactly a golf powerhouse league. We went to state in 2004, and we’ve qualified for districts as a team three out of the last four years.
“I feel we’ve brought this program back. Where we’re at is on par with what football and volleyball have been at this school. Our goal is to have a program that is well-respected in all facets.”
Hiring Weisenberger, who is now the general manager and the director of golf at Norwalk’s Eagle Creek Golf Club, was a big part of it. St. Paul now plays its home matches and practices exclusively at Eagle Creek, along with Norwalk High School.
The Flyers also return three of their top golfers in Dave Weisenberger, Coach Weisenberger’s cousin, Ben Dow and Tyler Bleile. Weisenberger and Dow are seniors, while Bleile is a junior. Sophomores Michael Hanneman and Jason Koch will compete for the other spots.
“We did lose seven seniors to graduation last year, and it’s going to be hard to replace those guys,” Coach Weisenberger said. “Now, it’s up to these guys to get the ball rolling.
“We were eight or nine shots away from qualifying for state. When you’re talking about four scores, that’s only a couple of shots here and there. That shows every shot is an important one, and that’s what I’m trying to instill in our guys.”
New London has co-coaches Brett Green and Garth McGrail, who take over for Seth Gilbert, and they’ll have to overcome the loss of state qualifier Logan Cooke.
Sophomore Cody Barnett will be counted on to be the Wildcats’ No. 1 golfer this season — pretty big shoes to fill.
Sandusky Bay Conference
Defending SBC champions Edison will have five lettermen back, including top golfer Preston Robinette, a senior.
Robinette was a second-team All-SBC selection last season, but has golfed in various events during the offseason that has him much improved.
St. Mary is fresh off a Division III state qualifying berth, but lost three of its top golfers last season, including All-Ohio golfer Aaron Ebert, to graduation. Ebert’s younger brothers, sophomore Collin and Jared Ebert, are back to help pick up the slack.
Perkins have four lettermen from last season’s squad back, including seniors Derrick Brennan, Jude Kromer and Bryce Roll.
Margaretta gave the SBC two teams that qualified for state last season, finishing ninth in the Division II tournament. Seniors Gavin Kuns and Adam Rice will be four-year lettermen this season for new coach Mark Freeh, who replaces Joe Bias.
Northern Ohio League
Norwalk lost four of its top six golfers to other sports. Senior Taylor Todd and junior Justin Fleming are the only two lettermen back for the Truckers.
Greater Buckeye Conference
Sandusky will be bolstered by a pair of seniors — first-team All-GBC player Jonathon Gill, along with second-teamer Seth Purdue. They helped the Blue Streaks finish fourth in the conference last season.
Lake Erie League
Admiral King went 6-0 in the LEL last season, but lost a lot of seniors from that team.
Coach Dave Mazzei’s team will be led by son Tyler Mazzei, a junior returning letterman, along with senior A.J. Atkinson.
Southview has nowhere to go but up as a golf program, and will have three seniors back to try to help — Robert Glowacki, Randy Schumaker and Alexis Fitzpatrick.
Amherst should be one of the area’s most improved teams this season.
Coach Aaron Millet has five seniors back from last year’s 13-win squad, including No. 1 golfer Matt Schneider. Matt Jones, Paul Srnis, David Flynn and Adam Kalivoda are the other seniors.
Amy Manco’s Avon Lake squad went 13-1 last season and won the SWC, but couldn’t quite make it to state.
Only seniors C.J. Blankenship and Reilly Bates are back from that squad. The rest of the team are inexperienced at the varsity level.
West Shore Conference
If Avon had junior Kyle Kmiecik and freshman Beau Titsworth at their home school instead of at St. Ignatius, the Eagles may have been one of the top teams around.
Instead, the Eagles will make do with improved senior Mike Opsitnick and junior Scott Dickson as they try to take the WSC title.
Firelands went 13-2 in the WSC last season, which was good for second in the conference behind Midview. The Falcons are the favorites this year, thanks to juniors Andrew Northeim and Matt Gregory returning.
Midview pushed aside any doubts about this team by winning the season-opening Admiral King Invitational. Junior Louis Elbert and seniors Brad Weaver and Mike Mercado should be the top Middies this year.
Vermilion lost WSC player of the year Ian Suzuko to graduation, but have four lettermen back, including seniors and two-year winners D.J. Pohorence and Ryan Lucas.
North Ridgeville went a disappointing 1-13 last season, but have five lettermen returning, including sophomore Mitch Clark.
Patriot Athletic Conference
Keystone will have four junior returning lettermen this season, including Bryan Yeo, Sam Bailosky and Justin Truman.
Yeo averaged a 39 last season for Greg Morgan’s Wildcats.
After senior Aaron Dumke, there’s a lot of question marks on this year’s Wellington team. Coach Ron Clady is looking for consistency out of fellow seniors Kenny Natterer and Michael Whitney.
Columbia got off to a fast start, with good showings at the Admiral King and Gray Hawk Invitationals. Senior Jerry Karl was first-team all-district last season.
In Jeff Calame’s 25th year as Black River’s coach, he will have three seniors and a standout sophomore in Matt Stuart.
Northeast Ohio Conference
Elyria took a big hit when Alex Treuel graduated last season, along with several other quality seniors.
Senior Tyler Thomasson and junior Kyle Lottman and Tyler Ward will try to pick up the slack for coach Jim Kistler.
North Coast League
Returning district qualifier Elyria Catholic has five lettermen back from last season, including seniors Ryan Polk and juniors Colin Coughlin and Matt Spencer.
Andrew Edgar takes over at Lake Ridge this season and has three of its top golfers returning — seniors Leo Park, Alex Potoczak and Stephen Hong.
Open Door is rebuilding with young players, like sophomore Ian Sooy and junior Zachary Graves.
Last Updated: 8/24/2008 12:16:33 AM EST