THOMASVILLE — To say that the Manheim Township golf program has owned the District 3-AAA team field is an understatement.
Since the tournament was broken into two classes (AAA and AA) in 2012, the Streaks have captured every AAA title. That championship string extends back even two more years, to 2010, when there was just one single golf class.
Tuesday afternoon at Briarwood East Golf Course, Manheim Township’s "streak" was finally ended by York-Adams League champion Central York. Led by a 3-under-par 69 from junior Joe Parrini, the Panthers shot a team score of 300 to get by the runner-up Streaks by 13 strokes.
York Catholic, the York-Adams League AA representative, played well as a team, but reigning champ Lancaster Catholic was on a different level. The Crusaders set a District 3-AA record by claiming their second consecutive title by 24 strokes over the runner-up Irish (302-326).
By virtue of claiming district titles, both Lancaster Catholic and Central York earned berths into the PIAA team tournament later this month at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.
“Districts have been a huge hurdle for this Central program,” Panther coach Sean Guerin said, referring to his team’s back-to-back runner-up finishes the past two years. “So, to win this thing this year is great for our program moving forward. I’m super-excited about moving forward to states. I feel like we can be competitive.”
If the Panthers continue to play as well as they did Tuesday, there's little doubt about that. The one-two combo of Parrini, who won the York-Adams League boys' individual title Monday, and Julianne Lee (73), who captured her second-straight York-Adams League girls' title Monday, proved to be a big difference in helping Central finally edge Township.
“Joe stepped up and Julianne stepped up,” Guerin said. “We talked about them stepping up since the beginning of the season and them both being leaders. And they both did it today.”
For Parrini, playing his best in the clutch is becoming something of a staple. As a freshman at York Catholic, Parrini won the District 3-AA individual title, while also helping the Irish win the district AA team title. Since transferring to Central before last season, Parrini has helped the Panthers capture back-to-back league crowns. After firing a 69 during Monday’s individual league championships, he followed up with a second-consecutive strong day at Briarwood.
Winning as a team on Tuesday, however, was probably a little more satisfying for the Panther standout.
“This feels great,” Parrini said. “We’ve had a couple of really low rounds, which helped us today. And that kind of separated us from the field. Julianne put up a great 73, and I know that Will (Gekas) had to scrap to put up a 79 and that was clutch. And Carson Bacha … he had a tough round (79). But we’re all grinders and we can put up a decent score, even when we’re not playing our best.”
For Guerin, who just took over the program this summer after moving from Colorado, getting his team mentally in a position to succeed was the toughest part of his job. Judging by the results, he seems to have done a good job of it.
“Getting them to believe in themselves … that’s the toughest part,” Guerin said. “And they’ve done that so far this year. Now we have a good opportunity to be competitive at states and I feel like they can definitely do that.”
Irish settle for second: While the Panthers will continue on as a team, the Irish were again done in by their parochial rivals from across the Susquehanna River. All five of Lancaster Catholic’s golfers shot a 78 or better Tuesday.
“I know that they had one kid (Sean McNamara) who shot a 75, which is a career best,” York Catholic coach Bill Brander said. “To shoot five scores in the 70s is just fantastic.”
Jon Giambalvo led the Irish with a 78 while Andrew Forjan shot a 79 for York Catholic.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.