Third and final leg

HOWLAND – Inside the clubhouse of Old Avalon Golf Course were eight Sunrise Inn pizzas, drinks, fruits, candy and other refreshments.

Considering there were 18 hungry teenagers coming off the rain-soaked course, it was no wonder the high school boys were piling their plates after their nine-hole rounds.

“The food is a nice bonus, knowing it’s going to be there. We’re all hungry after our round,” said John F. Kennedy’s Zach Shoaf.

Tuesday’s round concluded the final of three matches from the Mahoning Valley Catholic Tournament Series – played at Stambaugh Golf Course, Mill Creek’s South Course and Old Avalon. So while the pizza might be a nice treat at the end of the match, it’s not the best part for some of the golfers.

“I think it’s better that way. It sets up new challenges each week. That’s always the best part about this,” JFK’s Daniel LaPolla said.

JFK’s Ryan Fowler was the medalist, carding a 113 from all three nine-hole rounds. Cardinal Mooney’s Ken Keller (114) and Nick Braydich (114), JFK’s LaPolla (122), Ursuline’s Michael Butch (124) and Mooney’s Nick Hough (125) rounded out the top six golfers from all three events. Hough placed sixth, but he was tied with Mooney’s Matt Daprile (125) and Ursuline’s Josh DiTommaso (125) after Tuesday’s round. Hough won the tiebreaker by beating the other two on a par 3 hole.

Each of the top six received a bronze trophy with a golfer in mid-backswing.

Mooney won the team competition, going 5-1. JFK was 3-3 and Ursuline finished 1-5.

“It’s a good chance for the kids, after playing against each other for four years, to get to know each other,” JFK coach Jim St. George said. “It keeps a good little rivalry going between the catholic schools.”

It’s a change of pace for the JFK golfers, which have had plenty 18-hole tournaments this season.

“Come after school, play nine holes, go home instead of being out on the course for six hours, waiting every shot for 18-hole matches,” Fowler said.

Considering the deluge of rain the Mahoning Valley endured Tuesday afternoon, playing the final of three matches seemed impossible. The lift, clean and place rule was in effect, where golfers could remove their muddy golf ball, clean it and place it within a club length of the original site – no closer to the hole.

“I thought the course was in great condition after seeing what happened,” St. George said.

JFK’s Ryan Theis was surprised they played Tuesday.

“No, not at all. I thought we were going to get rained out,” he said.

Good thing they weren’t. There was good Sunrise Pizza to be eaten after the round.

“Old World classic. It’s simple,” LaPolla said.