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Lions, Leopards earn state berths

September 28, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

The Walkersville golf team is synonymous with success when it comes to the Maryland District 1 Class 1A-2A tournament.

For the third consecutive year, the Lions captured the team title at Black Rock Golf Course, and their total keeps getting better.

Walkersville's four counted individual scores came to 305, nine strokes better than last year's 314, which happened to be the score of second-place Century on Tuesday.

"It's a three-peat to the state," said smiling Walkersville coach George Baltic. "Williamsport had a 304 in their county tournament and I was worried about them."

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Smithsburg finished third with a 316, good enough to send the Leopards' team to the state tournament Oct. 25-26 at the University of Maryland golf course in College Park, Md.

On an individual basis, those qualifying for the state meet were Logan Hintze (76) of Williamsport, Brian Poole (80) of Boonsboro, Tyler Ausherman (78) and Kristen Waeber (77) of Middletown and Adam Delauter (79) of Catoctin.

Lions senior Josh Williford stole the show over the par-72, 6,383-yard layout, carding a 3-under 69, by far his best score of the year and one that brought back images of his superlative play of a year ago.

"I went out playing for par and I got an early feel for the greens," said Williford, who will make his third state appearance. "My putting (28) saved my round ... I only missed one putt inside 10 feet. I didn't second-guess any of my reads on the greens."

Williford, starting on No. 16 in the shotgun format, was even par through 11 before he blasted away from the field with birdies on 12, 13 and 14 before closing with a par.

"I knew all along (Josh) had it in him," said Baltic. "I told him to be patient. I've never given up on him."

Williford's round was supported by Chad Benford's 77, Josh Winn's 79 and Nick Keefer's 80.

Smithsburg leaned on the one-two punch of Brandon Sheaffer and Alicia Grier to gain a second state berth.

Sheaffer posted a an even-par 72 and Grier came in with a 1-over 73. Alex Wine shot an 84 and Dennis Herbert posted an 87 for the Leopards.

Sheaffer birdied his first two holes, bogeyed the par-5 third, then kept steady the remainder of the round.

"You had to take one or two clubs more because of the wind," said Sheaffer. "It was playing a little harder than normal, and I could have putted a little better today."

Grier hit 13 of 14 fairways and 12 greens in regulation in a steady round and had only two three-putts.

"I played consistent," Grier said. "This ties the best I've ever shot at Black Rock. I'm looking forward to me and my team playing in the states."

The cutoff was 80 or better for boys to qualify, leaving no margin for excessive errors.

Hintze was steady with a 38 on both sides of his card, while Ausherman posted a pair of 39s. Poole opened with a 38 on the front and held on with a 42. Delauter, after a front 41, had a 38 to secure his first trip to College Park.

Waeber had the putt of the day, closing out on No. 18 with a 50-footer for birdie that capped her round and sent her to states for a fourth straight year.

"I couldn't putt at all ... 5-footers wouldn't even go in," Waeber said. "I can't believe that last putt went in."

Other area teams that did not qualify for the state meet were Williamsport (323), Middletown (325), Boonsboro (345), Catoctin (356), North (362), Frederick (369), Brunswick (376), South (385) and Clear Spring (no team score).

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