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Central York's depth proves decisive en route to York-Adams golf title

PATRICK STROHECKER
YorkDispatch


Good high school golf teams typically consist of one or two solid players.

Great teams — the ones that win league titles and perhaps much more — have rosters stacked with dominant players from top to bottom.

You can throw Central York into that latter category — a team comprised of six standout golfers. On most other teams, the Panthers' No. 5 or No. 6 players would challenge for the No. 1 or No. 2 positions.

Wednesday, the Panthers showed off their depth, capturing the York-Adams League team title at Briarwood East Golf Course, winning with a combined four-golfer score of 305. Eastern York finished second at 312 and York Catholic took third at 340.

"I think we were definitely trying to take things in steps," sophomore Joe Parrini said regarding his team's preseason goals. "We try not to overlook anything because nothing is given. We have to earn it every day. So, to go undefeated in our league (York-Adams Division I) and then make it to the county championship was our first goal, and then to come here and do well and win it was our second goal."

Central entered Wednesday's league championship undefeated and, by defeating the Golden Knights and Irish, it checked off the second goal on the list. But, winning the Y-A League crown wasn't going to come easy for the Panthers, at least not if Eastern and York Catholic had anything to say about it.

Both of those schools entered as the Division II and Division III champions, respectively, from the regular season, and were as equally dominant as Central. However, what the Panthers exhibited on Wednesday, that proved too much for the other two foes, was their depth of talent.

Going low: At the beginning of the year, when Parrini transferred from York Catholic to Central, it was a case of the rich getting richer. But he didn't have his best stuff in blustery conditions at Briarwood on Wednesday, exemplified by his 8-over-par 80, which included two shots hit out of bounds on the par-4 10th hole. But, like great teams do, his teammates picked him up. Connor Bacha shot a 1-over 73, Gus Minkin shot a 2-over 74 and Julianne Lee and Matt Bricker each shot 7-over 79s to make sure that Parrini's 80 wouldn't count toward the team total.

The Panthers were the only team to post four scores in the 70s — the major reason they won the team title, despite Eastern's Kevin Crumbling and Andrew Davis both posting level-par rounds of 72, the low scores of the day. Even Will Gekas' 85, the highest score for Central, would've been the fourth best for the Golden Knights and the second best for York Catholic.

Tough conditions: After heavy rains dumped large amounts of water on the course Tuesday night, players entered play Wednesday expecting soft conditions and lots of chances to aim at pins. However, after about five holes were completed, more rain started to fall. While that only lasted about 30 minutes, steady winds soon followed. For the remainder of the round, the players were forced to play in conditions that resembled a British Open Championship — 20-plus-mph winds in cold and damp weather. That made the course play much longer than the listed 6,910 yards from the back tees.

"I would say the wind was more of a factor than the rain," Minkin said. "...Like, some of the par 3s were windy. That was pretty much the biggest difference."

On to districts: For the Panthers and Eastern, a league title wasn't the only thing the two teams were competing for on Wednesday.

Whichever team placed higher in the league championship would earn a bid into the District 3-AAA Team Tournament. The Irish already qualified for the AA tournament.

The district team competition is set to take place on Tuesday at Briarwood. The individual District 3 competition is scheduled for Oct. 9 and Oct. 10, also at Briarwood. The Y-A League players will try to qualify for the district individual event on Thursday in the league individual tournament, again at Briarwood.

The spot in districts was the third goal on Central's list entering the season. The Panthers can now check that off as well.

"I think our team has a lot of potential to do well," Minkin said. "If we all play to our potential, I definitely think we can compete with all the teams there."

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com; follow on Twitter @P_Strohecker