AVON — The Avon girls golf team might not be where it wants to be yet, but if Monday’s 13th annual Ohio Girls Golf Foundation Showcase at Avon Oaks Country Club is any indicator, the Eagles are headed in the right direction.
Avon finished fifth in the 12-team tournament with a 370 and was behind only defending champion Medina (332), Cortland Lakeview (350), Canfield (363) and Hathaway Brown (369).
Not bad considering some of the Eagles were playing together as a team for the first time this summer on the par-72, 5,156-yard course.
Canfield’s Kerra Loomis shot a 74 to take home top honors individually, while Rocky River’s Julia Gentner pocketed a 77 to finish second. Medina’s Alyssa Drehs was third with a 78.
“It’s a good start,” Eagles junior Sarah Warnkin said. “Several of the girls are in other sports and don’t really play over the summer. For us to finish top five right out of the gate, it was a good start.”
Anna Schatschneider led Avon with an 88 and Warnkin shot a 90.
While Warnkin’s beginning wasn’t spectacular — she bogeyed her first hole (No. 13) and took a nine on her second — she turned things around with a birdie on the 373-yard par-5 18th to right the ship in the shotgun start format.
“I struggled with my short game,” she said. “I couldn’t make any putts. I struggled overall. I just wasn’t feeling it. It was good to get that birdie. It was a little bit of a confidence booster.”
Sophomores Danielle Austinson (95) and Annika Neuman (97) rounded out the scoring for Avon.
Much like Warnkin, Schatschneider didn’t bring her best, but did enough to score. It’s that feeling, plus the fact she left herself a few birdie putts, that has Schatschneider thinking good things for her team this season.
“I think this built confidence, especially playing on a difficult course,” she said. “We went out there and shot our best, knowing our teammates were there.
“You knew if you shot bad, someone was there. Knowing I can get on the green with birdie putts, it gives me that chance.”
As for how good the Eagles can be, that remains to be seen, but Monday’s primer was a step forward.
“I think we’ve gotten better,” Schatschneider said. “We might not have played our best today, but we’ll do better in the future. I think it was great to play here.”
Avon Lake, without several of its top players including three-time state qualifier Niki Schroeder, finished last in the field, but Abby Hawkinson shot an 88. Katie Raby (101), Abbie Lilnick (137) and Alexis Loebick (146) rounded out the scoring for the Shoremen.
Westlake’s Katie McCarthy had a 92 to help Hathaway Brown to its fourth-place finish and Lutheran West’s Sam Brurmeister also had an 88. The Avon resident was the lone representative for the Longhorns, while Magnificat’s Madison Gardner — also an Avon resident — shot a 106 as the only member of the Blue Streaks.
The Ohio Girls Golf Foundation, headed by Teen Burke, promotes girls golf and encourages girls to go to college and play the sport. The foundation handed out college scholarships to Canfield’s Bailey Hardick and Michele Whiteleather and Copley’s Mackenzie Jones.
The day began with a skills clinic by pro golfers Barb Mucha, now on the seniors LPGA Legends Tour, and Janice Moodie.
TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Medina 332, 2. Cortland Lakeview 350, 3. Canfield 363, 4. Hathaway Brown 369, 5. Avon 370, 6. Warren JFK 385, 7. Copley 392, 8. Brecksville 393, 9. Archbishop Hoban 412, 10. Brunswick 428, 11. Rocky River 436, 12. Avon Lake 472.
Top 3 individuals: 1. Kerra Loomis (Can) 74, 2. Julia Gentner (RR) 77, 3. Alyssa Drehs 78 (Med).
INDIVIDUALS NOT ON TEAMS: Briana O’Tool (North Royalton) 80, Abby Grospitch (North Royalton) 81, Amanda Baker (Brooklyn), Sam Brurmeister 88, Alyssa Gray (Solon) 93, Madison Gardner (Magnificat/Avon) 106, Erin Sheehan (Magnificat) 127.
Medina (332): Alyssa Drehs 78, Megan Pollock 82, Angie Dick 84, MacKenzie Debnar 88.
Lakeview (350): Ryan Rosenberger 81, Kaylee Neumister 84, Ashley Frasca 88, Taylor Horn 97.
Canfield (363): Kerra Loomis 74, Christine Cooper 80, Gilliam Cerimeli 99, Alyssa Santoro 110.
Hathaway Brown (369): Amanda Bingaman 90, Katie McCarthy 92, Caroline Carulas 98, Colby Cohen 99.
Avon (370): Anna Schatschneider 88, Sarah Warnkin 90, Danielle Austinson 95, Annika Neuman 97, Hannah Wells 120.
JFK (385): Taylor Vassis 93, Nicolette Eddy 96, Emily Marcavish 96, Alexis Eddy 100.
Copley (392): Kiley Blachaniec 88, Mackenzie Jones 97, Brittney Bolton 100, Yui Kondo 107.
Brecksville (393): Paige Zelis 90, Karly Morell 93, Ashley DeSantis 107, Kari Ring 120.
Hoban (412): Morgan Stubbendieck 92, Jenna Ritcher 102, Hannah Finley 105, Kameron Simmons 113.
Brunswick (428): Devon Matson 103, Angie Graf 106, Faith Gunter 107, Kelly Szczepaniak 112.
Rocky River (436): Julia Gentner 74, Jessica Zucker 110, Irini Kazanas 124, Andreana Dingess 125.
Avon Lake (472): Abby Hawkinson 88, Katie Raby 101, Abbie Lilnick 137, Alexis Loebick 146.