A version of this article was posted to www.ArchboldBuckeye.com, Friday, Oct. 6, at 9 am.
The Archbold golf team advanced to the state tournament for the third time in school history after winning the Division II district championship, its first-ever district title, Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Red Hawk Golf Course.
The Streaks finished with a team score of 321, 17 strokes better than secondplace Galion.
The top two teams and two individuals not on qualifying teams advance to the state tournament, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13-14, at the NorthStar Golf Club, Sunbury.
Individually, Kade Kern tied for second place, shooting an 18-hole score of 77.
Trevor Rupp and Brandon Miller were in a three-way tie for fourth with a 78.
A.J. Mahnke tied for 25th with an 88, and Mitch Grosjean tied for 27th with an 89.
In 2016, the Streaks finished second at districts and 11th at state in Div. II.
In 2008, Archbold finished third at districts and ninth at state in Div. III.
“We did a few swing adjustments after our performance at sectionals, and it paid off in a big way,” said Mike Rosebrook, AHS head coach.
“All week long in practice, I saw a little progress every day. On the range before the round, it looked like everyone was hitting it really well.
“When you walk to the first tee feeling confident, it makes a big difference.
“These guys have been there before, so that was a bonus, too.
“I usually say something like ‘Nobody wins the Masters on their first trip.’ It takes a lot of nerve and experience to play a course like Red Hawk under all that pressure.
“The first three holes can make or break your day there. We started off well enough, then started making some birdies in the middle of the front nine.
“Last year we played the back well, but started off rough. This year it felt pretty good all day with a lot less stress for all of them. They were swinging good, and I could tell they were ready to play.
“Our seniors Brandon (Miller) and Trevor (Rupp) had a couple of bad holes, but their composure pulled them through. You can tell they have a lot of tournament experience because they just stayed focused and didn’t let anything get ‘em down mentally.
“Kade’s (Kern) ball-striking made great improvements this past week. If he gets any better next week, look out.
“Any of these guys could get near par if they hit one more green per side. Anything in the 70s there is amazing.
“The three of them earned All-Tournament honors, which are the top five scores of the day. There was a 72 turned in by an individual qualifier, then our scores were next-best.
“That’s pretty impressive, having three of the top five on the same team.
“Mitch Grosjean was hit- ting the ball well, but just seemed to take some bad hops that cost him. Out there, if you miss your landing area by as much as a few feet, it careens off the hill into the heather. Almost all the greens are elevated and have lots of break.
“A.J. Mahnke hit it pretty well too, except that when he missed the fairway it was on a hole where it cost you a couple strokes.
“You’re gonna make a bad swing or two, but it sometimes takes some good fortune that it would happen on an open hole.
“With another week of practice before the state tournament I think these two will play some of their best golf of the year.
“The greens were so fast that it’s almost a different game. With the valuable experience they gained this week, they should be prepared for the greens at NorthStar.
“They should be fast, as well. We are gonna stop at Red Hawk on the way down so we can chip and putt a while. There aren’t any courses near here where you can find greens quite that fast.
“Usually you will hit the ball well for about two weeks before your swing needs some work. These guys all look like they are on the way up, as far as swing coaching goes.
“I feel really good about how the team is coming together right now. Northstar is a lot longer and a little more open than the Scarlet course we played last year. That should fit into our game nicely.”