Dwelle, Hippley earn LEJGA Player of Year honors

Local golfers finished atop age groups this summer
Butch Wagner
Jul 24, 2014

Every year, the Lake Erie Junior Golf Association officially wraps up its season with an Invitational tournament and the awards banquet.

The top performers (points) in the six age groups — boys 10-11, 12-13, 14-16 and 17-9, and girls 10-14 and 15-19 —  are invited to the event, set for Monday at Fremont Country Club.

The 18-hole event is then followed by the banquet, where the Players of the Year are honored.

The top award-winners (POY) are already decided, with two area youths among the champions for 2014.

Logan Dwelle, a senior at Perkins High School, is the boys 17-19 champion, and Julia Hippely, a freshman at Huron High School, will be officially crowned the girls 10-14 champion Monday at the banquet.

Dwelle participated in 15 of the 17 LEJGA tournaments to ring up 150.5 points, well ahead of runner-up Bo Pettegrew of Huron, who earned 105 points in six events. Alex Gedert, of Woodville, was third with 100.5 points and Dylan DeWitt, of Bellevue, placed fourth at 98 in six tournaments.

Also from the area, Ryan Wilburn, Bellevue, had 86 points for sixth position, followed by Isaac Hartley, Bellevue, at 77 points in five endeavors. Shane Meek, Port Clinton, was eighth with 60 points in just five outings.

A point is given to the player for each opponent in their age group they beat. By winning an age group crown, that individual also wins a point for each opponent he or she beats, plus one-half point for each player in that age group. If there are 25 players in a division, the champion would receive 36 points.

"My goal starting out was to win the Player of the Year award, and I planned to play in as many events as I could," Dwelle said. "I wanted to play different courses and it all started when I got to represent the LEJGA in May when they had that invite at Firestone. I lost my match (4&3), but I also learned a lot that day and it really helped playing a course like that.".

Dwelle won titles at Willard and Ashland, with three more runner-up efforts. He finished in the top five on nine occasions.

His lowest round was a 72 at Thunderbird Hills North, a third-place finish.

"I believe I have improved my game a lot, especially in the mental aspect," Dwelle said. "I also feel I'm longer now off the tee and more accurate and consistent."

Dwelle's goal for the upcoming golf season is quite simple.

"I want to play in the state championships, as a team would be nice," he said. "Any way (team or individual) would be a good way to go out."

Hippely, 14, was perfect in her age group (girls 10-14) with eight championships in as many tries.

The highlight was in the season finale at Oak Harbor Golf Club when she fired an even par 35 on the front nine, six strokes lower than her previous best (41 at Thunderbird North).

She compiled 46.5 points and bested her rival, Jordan Pruitt of Milan, by 5.5 points as they finished 1-2 in five of the tournaments.

"I was really excited when I found out I had won my division," Hippely said. "I worked hard to get much better than I was a year ago, and I just want to keep on improving and help our team (Huron) have a good year."

Noah Sampson, of Clarkston, Mich., won the boys 14-16 title with ease. He rolled up 252.5 points in 12 events compared to 174 for Port Clinton's Anthony Paradiso. Max Berry, Norwalk, was third at 134 and Collin Crooks, a junior at SMCC, was fifth with 117.5. Cameron Foss, a Perkins sophomore, ranked sixth with 113.5 points.

Max Watson, Ashland, won out for boys 12-13 with 25.5 points. Andrew Branson, Tiffin, finished second at 11.5.

Nolan Haynes, the nine-year-old sensation from Barberton, topped the boys 10-11 with 52.5 points, followed by Ethan Longoria, Fremont, with 44. Sandusky's Cole Hupp finished fifth at 30.5.

As for the girls 15-19, Nicolette Bowersock of Ashland coasted to the crown with 117 points in nine events while Katelyn Kinley of Sycamore, was second at 74.5.

Emily Bogner, Clyde, wound up fourth at 62 points in eight tournaments. Nikki Mollohan, a June graduate of Edison, collected 61.5 points in six events, including two wins.