Warriors clinch first Section title since 1990

By on September 19, 2018
Warwick senior Kathryn Pelensky follows the flight of her shot after teeing off during a Section Two match this season. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Warwick senior Kathryn Pelensky follows the flight of her shot after teeing off during a Section Two match this season. Photo by Missi Mortimer

When Warwick’s golfers easily won their season-opener by 46 strokes in late August at Par Line, it sent a clear message to the entire team.

They expected to claim the Section Two title.

“Anything less than that, they weren’t going to be very happy,” Warrior coach Kevin McNece said. “The kids did a great job.”

Fast-forward four weeks and the Warwick linksmen made it official Monday, carding a 160 in a rain-shortened nine-hole match at Meadia Heights Golf Club in Lancaster.

Finishing a comfortable 26 strokes ahead of runner-up Elizabethtown (186), the Warriors improved to 25-0 with just one match remaining and clinched their first Section championship since 1990. The Bears are currently second with a 16-9 record.

“It’s nice,” said senior Brock Fassnacht, who shot a 2-under 33 to lead the way. “I think we kinda expected it coming into this year, but it’ll be nice to see our year hanging up on the banner in the gym.”

Warwick was looking to complete a perfect season when they competed at Tanglewood in their final match of the regular season on Tuesday. Results were unavailable as of deadline.

“That’d be really nice,” Fassnacht said, “and really cool to show and I think it will just show the hard work that we’ve been putting in.”

Their efforts have already been evident in the scores they have posted this season. In five matches, the Warriors’ top seven — Fassnacht, seniors Kyle Gibble and Kathryn Pelensky, juniors Clayton Hartman and Ethan Minnich, sophomore Zach Stoyer and freshman Brant Bomberger — are averaging 89 or lower.

“I think we have a nice group of kids that have been putting in a lot more work than they have been in the past,” Fassnacht said, “and we’re getting a lot of consistency out of them and more solid numbers.”

At Meadia Heights, Kyle Gibble was second on the team with a 40, followed by Bomberger with a 42, and then Minnich and Stoyer tying with 45.

Behind Elizabethtown in the team standings were Ephrata (195), Garden Spot (200), and Solanco (228). CV had just two golfers and didn’t qualify.

“I think for the most part, we’ve been pretty pleased (with our team scores),” Fassnacht said. “I think we could be averaging 80 more often — that hasn’t come around yet, but we’re getting there. We pretty much handled every match.”

Fassnacht easily has the top average in Section Two with a 69.6, which is 12 strokes ahead of Elizabethtown’s Alex Williams (81.4). That included a 4-under 66 at Overlook on Sept. 24.

“When you start expecting to get low numbers and you have his ability, then it happens,” McNece said. “When he drives the ball well, he’s going to score well because he hits everything really straight, and then he’ll make a few putts.”

The defending L-L League champ admits he has picked up his game over the last month.

“The last few weeks, I’ve been really hitting the ball well,” Fassnacht said, “and it’s shown in my scores. I’ve been shooting a lot of under-par numbers.”

His familiarity with Meadia Heights improved after competing in the Junior War of the Roses in August.

“Over the summer, I got to play it a bunch of times, so I’m comfortable playing it now,” he said.

Gibble’s 40 improved his season average to 86.8 in five matches this season.

“He’s a little up-and-down,” Fassnacht said, “but when he gets his game together, he can be a pretty good player and I think he’s starting to do that a little bit.”

Pelensky entered Monday’s match with an 81.7 average, which was second-best on the team. She finished with a 49 at Meadia Heights.

“I think there’s still room for improvement,” McNece said, “and if she works on her short game … I feel she should be shooting in the 70s. She’s very steady.”

Minnich and Stoyer are both averaging an 85.4, followed by Bomberger (88.0) and Hartman (89.0).

The Warriors will be looking for more low scores next Monday, Sept. 24 when they competed in the L-L League Championships at the Conestoga Country Club starting at 9 a.m.

“I think if we play well, we can shoot a pretty good score at Leagues,” Fassnacht said. “I think everyone’s got to be on their A-game if we want to even have a shot at Township, but I think we can put up a respectable score.”

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