The Eastern York golf team has dominated the York-Adams League Division II circuit throughout the early part of the young season.
Crushing victories by 40 strokes in the opener and 20 in the second match over second-place West York has helped put the bull's-eye directly on the Golden Knights' navy blue and yellow golf shirts.
Thursday afternoon at Honey Run Golf Club, the Bulldogs nearly hit that bull's-eye. West York received a medalist 2-over-par 74 from standout Axel Hartman and a surprising 81 by Ryan Jordan to give Eastern a pretty good scare with a 408 total.
The Knights, who had a couple of their skilled players card higher than normal scores, remained unbeaten, however, in large part because of the duo of Kevin Crumbling and Andrew Davis. Eastern's top players each carded identical 75s to lead the Knights to a three-stroke triumph over the runner-up Bulldogs with a 405.
"Our top four players are under a five handicap," Davis said. "So we're pretty solid. If we all shoot our best scores, we should be under 390."
Geiman fires 66 in Division III event: The top score of the day, however, didn't come from the Division II match. York Catholic's Nick Geiman fired a sizzling 6-under-par 66 at Springwood to lead the Fighting Irish to another dominating Division III triumph. York Catholic won by a whopping 67 shots over second-place Hanover to improve to 15-0 on the season.
Things were much closer in the Division II contest.
While it was a nice sunny and cool day on the links, wind gusts made the play at Dover High School's new home course difficult for most.
"We had a couple of guys who didn't have their games today," Davis said. "With the wind being the way it was today, it showed a lot in these conditions, but we still did good."
Hartman has been a fixture around the West York golf team since he was in eighth grade. The Bulldogs have been a force in the division, league and even District 3 as a team over that time, and Hartman is hoping his team can claw its way back to the top with just four league matches remaining.
"I was a manager on the team in eighth grade and I know we've won (every division) match with the exception of two," he said. "So we've pretty much won everything. Now we came close to Eastern today and we're going to have to try to keep reeling them in."
Hartman didn't get off to the best of starts despite his low score, but he didn't blame the wind for his sluggish opening.
"The wind wasn't too bad," he said. "I had a rough start. I started out with two bogeys in a row, but I just fought back at the end. The wind was affecting some shots, but you just have to learn to play it."
While Davis and Hartman have some experience playing at Honey Run, the venue has been absent from the high school ranks. Dover played its home matches at Grandview.
Hartman, however, couldn't attribute his score to any experience edge. In fact, his limited knowledge may have resulted in his slow start.
"I only play here once a year in Brady Lucas' scramble," Hartman said. "It's an awesome charity event to play in for the Four Diamonds Fund. So it helped me out a little bit, but I didn't know the course entirely. There's one hole where there is a hazard to the right and I aimed there and it went there so that didn't help."
Susquehannock's Caleb Bryant shared medalist honors with Hartman with a 74 to help the Warriors to a third-place finish (436).
Irish keep rolling: At Springwood, Geiman got help from Joe Parrini (76), Andrew Forjan (83), Josh Stewart (87), Ryan Deporter (87) and Dimitri Amalfitano (87). Overall, York Catholic had six of the top eight scores on the day. The Irish have won each of their first three matches by at least 67 shots.
Central York takes Division I event: On Wednesday at South Hills, Central York took a closely contested York-Adams Division I match. The Panthers finished with a 394 total, followed by Dallastown (399) and Spring Grove (400). It was an outstanding day for female players. Central's Julianne Lee, Spring Grove's Victoria Ross and Dallastown's Blake Sebring and Evan Greenplate each tied for medalist honors with 72. No one else shot lower than 77. Central York is now 12-0 on the season, while Dallastown is second at 10-2.
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.