The Pettisville boys golf team fell short of advancing to the Division III state tournament by one stroke, Thursday, Oct. 3, at Stone Ridge Golf Club, Bowling Green.
The Birds finished fifth with a team score of 350. Seneca East finished fourth with 349.
The top four teams and four individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to state.
Kalida won the district title with 328. Minster was second with 333, and St. Joseph Central Catholic was third with 339.
All five PHS golfers are juniors.
Max Leppelmeier was low man for the Birds. He tied for eighth place, shooting an 81.
Tommy McWatters tied for 16th with an 84. Josh Horning tied for 54th with a 92, and Caleb Nafziger tied for 61st with a 93.
Jake King tied for 79th with a 98.
“The results were not what we had hoped for at the district tournament match, missing a trip to Columbus by one stroke,” said Mike Zimmerman, PHS head coach.
“Reflecting on the year as a whole, I am thrilled at how my guys played throughout the season. We accomplished a lot this year, and they should be proud of that, finishing the season with a 125- 14 record.
“This team broke numerous school records along with three first-place invite finishes, two runner-up invite finishes, a perfect 12-0 league record, league match champions, and a first-ever BBC title in a strong conference that had three other teams and two individuals at the district match.
“We took one on the chin in Bowling Green on Thursday, but with this group of juniors I think they will respond well and will be hungry to improve on our finish.
“These young men have exemplified outstanding character, integrity and work ethic throughout the season– not score column numbers, but attributes that certainly matter.
“We will reflect on this past year– the good and the bad– and move forward to bettering ourselves.
“Next year’s season started when we left Bowling Green on Thursday, and that is the exciting part of having all this group back next year.”
Archbold junior Josh Nofzinger and freshman Luke Rosebrook tied for 44th place. Each shot a 90.
“Josh qualified as the first individual at sectionals, which put him in a group with a couple of seniors that could really play,” said Mike Rosebrook, AHS head coach.
“Dylan Von Deylen from Tinora was one of them, and he shot 75 for medalist honors.
“Getting to see what it takes to do that was invaluable for Josh as a junior. Next year he should be able to apply some course management strategy and make a go of it.
“Josh found some game on the back 9 after making a few bad swings, but just wasn’t quite sharp enough with the wedges to make some birdies like he did at sectionals.
“These were the fastest greens we’ve seen all year, so chipping it close was tough, too. Josh shot 90, which is awful good for not playing a course like that all year.
“He seemed pretty determined to learn some new shots for next year’s district tournament. I can’t wait to see how that turns out.
“Luke started off well again going 1-over after four holes. He made a great swing on the par-3 over the water.
“It landed on the back side of the green but hopped over, leaving a nasty downhill chip.
“Same thing happened on number 6. His touch around the greens is excellent for any high school golfer, but the putts rolled around the edge and popped out.
“I told him to start playing a little more aggressively to make up some strokes. You don’t learn to hit tough shots under pressure if you never try.
“He also gained valuable experience out there, especially considering he’s a freshman.
“They both finished in the top 25% of scores for the day. I was pleased with that, and figured next year they will be ready to lead the team there.”