What a way to open the 2014 high school golf season.
Bellevue's veteran squad — four seniors and one sophomore — shattered the school and Ralph Hohenstein Classic tournament records Monday Green Hills golf course with a sizzling 296 score (counting the four lowest scores among the five participants).
"This is a great start for us, that's for sure," said Bellevue coach Jan Terveen. "And I'm proud of the way they played considering the weather conditions (off and on rain during the more than five hours on the course). The old school record was 301, which was shot in the Bellevue Invitational in 1983."
"We won this tournament last year at 305 with all five players breaking 80 and today we had four of the five in the 70s," added Terveen, beginning his 16th season at Bellevue. "I'm really happy with the way our kids played today, but the acid test comes Wednesday when we go to the great CIC (Catawba Island Club) course against a quality field that includes Lakewood St. Ed's."
Bellevue had three of the top four individual scores.
Dylan DeWitt earned the medalist trophy for his even par 71, while Isaac Hartley was runner-up with 41-31—72 and Thomas Pressler ranked fourth overall with 37-37—74. Alex Gedert of Woodmore finished third with 73. The latter lost in a one-hole playoff with Luke Hohenstein of Clyde for the medalist honor last year after both shot 72 in regulation.
While Bellevue breezed to the championship, the battle for the runner-up trophy went down to the wire as two strokes separated four schools.
St. Mary Central Catholic received the award in the 16-team field with a 328 mark, one shot ahead of Norwalk's 329.
Perkins and Port Clinton tied for fourth with 330s, while Huron wound up at 336, Woodmore 340, Clyde 345, Oak Harbor and Tiffin Columbian 354 apiece, Eastwood 355, Sandusky 369, Old Fort 388, Danbury 391, Edison 393 and Fremont St. Joe C.C. 400.
DeWitt carded 34-37 for his par 71, an improvement of six shots from 2013. Hartley shook off a 41 on the front nine with an outstanding four under par 31 on the back side for his 72. Pressler was consistent with 37-37—74 while Tom Hosang produced 39-40—79. Sophomore Cody Snyder added 45-41—86.
DeWitt fired, who 42-35 in 2013, had three birdies in his round, Nos. 7, 8 and 13.
"The rain doesn't bother me," DeWitt said. "I like that because it helps my concentration and I think I focus more on making solid shots when its like this."
Hartley talked about his comeback.
"I had a bogey and a triple bogey on the par-five holes on the front, but didn't let that get to me," he said. "The big shot was my putt on No. 11 when I drained a 50-footer, then came right back on 12 with another long one (25 feet). I also birdied Nos. 15 and 18 with rather short one.
Hartley had a 75 last year.
As for Pressler, who had 78 in 2013, "I had just one birdie but felt I played well overall," he said.
The trio also have one thing in mind: to get back to the state tournament.
SMCC coach Bill Musial was elated with his team's score with an all-junior lineup. Collin Crooks led the way with 39-39—78 while Chace Rotsinger followed with 39-42—81. Dario Mormina carded 40-44—84 and Scott Doyle 43-43—86 while Reid Guerra tallied 49-45—94.
SMCC was seventh a year ago at 346.
"I'm so proud of them (players) for not quitting. Instead, they were grinding it out all day long and were rewarded for their efforts," said Musial. "We are in the Sandusky River League this year and off to a 2-0 start and I think this will give us the confidence to do well as we go along."
For Norwalk, sophomore Max Berry had the low round of 39-38—77. Chase Hicks added 43-37—80, Travis Cling 39-43—82, Braden Nunez 46-44—90 and Zach McGuckin 43-51—94 for coach Wes Douglas' team.
For Perkins, senior Logan Dwelle checked in with 38-39—77 while sophomore Cameron Foss added 42-40—82. Senior Mike Pietkowski contributed 85, senior Brayden Hupp 86 and junior Titus Dempsey 87 in his first time out.
"I bogied the last three holes and my putt lipped out each time," said Dwelle, the Lake Erie Junior Golf Association Player of the Year for boys 17-19 who had an 85 last year.
The Pirates placed second in the 2013 event with a 315 total, one shot ahead of Huron.
Sophomore Anthony Paradiso had the low round for Port Clinton with 39-38—77. Shane Meek fashioned 35-45—80, Mitchell Mueller 38-43—81 and Ashton Barton 48-44—92.
Sophomore Max Martin turned in a 77 to lead Huron, while senior Alex Klein shot an 81. Eric Myles added 47-38—85, Sam Slugg 93 and Tom Hufnagle 94.
Clyde's low round was submitted by junior Dalton Florence and senior Lucas Colvin with 83s. Sophomore Heath Maines had 88, Eli Hillman (91) and Ian Hilliker (95).
Oak Harbor improved its total by 13 strokes from a year ago to 354 with senior Travis Focht's 37-39—76 leading the way. Ryan Pavlica added 87, Jake St. Clair (93), Bo Hermes (98) and Tristan Varga (100).
"This is my lowest round ever by three shots," Focht said. "The key for me was my drives that landed in the fairway for the most part. I also had a couple of birdies (Nos. 15 and 18) that helped a lot."
Sandusky had the biggest drop of scores from last year with a 369 total compared to 407 in 2013.
"We had a good day overall and Davin Jacobs had one of his best rounds ever with an 83, said SHS coach Bernie Seiler.
Austin Slater added 93, Stan Gilbert (94) and Chance Moore (99) for the Blue Streaks.
For Danbury, Chase Botson had a solid round of 82 while Grady Mork added 95, Manuella (104) and Zach Tyson (110).
For Edison, junior Connor McGinley's 46-46—92 was low. Matt Kowalski and Zach Vitaz each had 100s and Adam Wolf (101).