You may not realize it but the High School Golf Season starts long before most boys and girls enter North Royalton High School for classes.
The boys’ golf season for the Bears began on Monday, August 5th with the Brunswick Tee Off Classic at Pine Hills Golf Club on West 130th. North Royalton finished 10th in the that event.
Instead of having the month of August to prepare, like the football team does, the Golf Team has to be ready to go from the first match of the season.
“Most of our players play some type of competitive golf during the summer whether it’s the Southwest Tour, a JPGA event or sometimes even in a league that they have joined. It’s important that they refine and polish their game for the High School season,” said North Royalton Boys Golf Coach Steve Sprunger. “If you don’t play, you fall behind very quickly.”
The Bears were Division One District Qualifiers last season. Even though North Royalton lost four seniors from last year’s team, (Kyle Farrell, Anthony Francisco, Jacob Frey and Justin Kocan) he’s excited about this year’s squad.
“We’ll be led by our two seniors, Jarrett Nowak and Kevin Gordon,” said Sprunger. “The key to Jarrett’s game this year will be his short game. He’ll need to get the golf ball up and down on a more consistent basis. Kevin is not a big kid like Jarrett is. Jarrett can out drive Kevin by 20-to-40 yards. Kevin has spent some time in the gym this spring and summer in an effort to improve his game.”
That 20-to-40 yards is the different between hitting a 6-7 iron or a 9-iron to a pitching wedge into a green for a second shot. For those who don’t know the shorter the iron, the better your chances are of scoring a birdie.
Golfers don’t normally spend time in a gym or a workout room, that is until Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson arrived on the scene. Not, it has become an accepted part of the future of the game.
One of the biggest matches that the Bears will be pointing to will be the Suburban League National Conference Championship. It is traditionally played at the Good Park Golf Course in Akron. “Stow and Hudson along with us figure to be in the chase this year. Our guys remember the Stow match from last season when we lost by two strokes on the last hole,” said Sprunger.
Coach Sprunger is looking forward to his underclassmen contributing to the team’s effort this season. “Among freshmen that should help this season are Chris Domke, Garrett Polverine and David Schwab. Sophomores are Andrew Osowksi, Jaden Duke, Jacob Bellflower and Daniel McKee. Our junior class includes Owen Boff. The positive aspect about the freshmen and sophomore teams is that they play golf together. That develops team camaraderie.”
Other in-season tournaments the Bears will participate in will take them to Windmill Lakes and Barberton Brookside, the site of the Boys Sectional qualifying tournaments.
By Joe Jastrzemskie
Contributing Writer for Royalton Recorder
Posted September 5th, 2019