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Smithsburg golfers win MVAL Invitational title

Senior Grier shares medalist honors

Senior Grier shares medalist honors

October 14, 2004|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Smithsburg's golf team had been going through a famine until Wednesday at Beaver Creek Country Club.

The Leopards claimed the MVAL Antietam Conference golf championship with a team total of 330 strokes, three better than the Catoctin Cougars. Williamsport finished third at 338.

"We haven't won anything as a team for two years ... the counties, districts or anything," Smithsburg coach Dan Neff said. "We've been close and you just keep on waiting until it comes together."

It finally did for the Leopards, and three key chip-ins by veteran Andrea Grier might well have been the difference as the senior shared co-medalist honors with a 5-over-par 77 (40-37) with Catoctin's Pat Clark (39-38).

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Not once, nor twice, but three times did Grier chip in for birdies throughout her round, which included a 37 on the back nine. On holes 6, 11 and 12, Grier was just beyond the greenside fringe and managed to drain her shots.

"I had a lot of chips and some of them didn't come close either," Grier said. "I had 27 putts and some were easy that I missed, so it was a good score, but I really didn't play that well."

Two of her teammates were in the top 10 individually as Alicia Grier posted an 81 and Brandon Sheaffer rebounded from a front card of 46 with a 39 for an 85. Brian Gehrman had an 87 to complete the winning total.

"Winning the conference takes some of the sting out of not qualifying in the districts for the state," Neff said. "It could have been another whole year of thinking about not winning. It was important for the seniors to win today."

Catoctin's one-two punch of Clark and Derrick Thompson just weren't enough to offset the Leopards. Thompson had a 79, which included a two-stroke penalty.

"I didn't hit many fairways at all, but I at least missed the fairways in the right places and I did pretty well with my irons," Clark said.

Thompson, another veteran in his fourth year of varsity golf, was "left-right" off the tee, missing every fairway.

"I was missing by two, three yards but my irons saved me," said Thompson, paired in the same threesome with Andrea Grier. "Andrea shot lights out."

Others in the top 10 included Williamsport's Kyle Lewis (79) and Matt Weber (82), Boonsboro's Nick Zaccaria (82), Brunswick's Joel Hafner (82) and North Hagerstown's Kevin Motz (85).

Boonsboro was fourth in the team race with 359 followed by defending champion North (362), Brunswick (363), South Hagerstown (439) and Clear Spring (477).

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