Junior Girls Golf 
by Loretta Gerber

Federal League Postseason Tournament, The Elms Country Club (par 72), Tuesday, September 26
The Hoover girls followed up their Saturday Golf Championships win with an outstanding 27-shot victory for the Postseason Tournament team title after going unbeaten in league dual matches.

Ava Kemp birdied four of her first 14 holes and shot 3-over par 75, earning her medalist honors. A junior girls golfer to watch playing in her very first high school postseason tournament was Hoover freshman Ellie Hutzler, who won runner-up with 77, overcoming two double bogeys on the front nine. Junior Kylie Porter tied for fourth with 81, and junior Alyssa Evans tied for sixth with 86.

Hoover won first place with 319; Jackson second place 346; Lake third 364; Green fourth 375; GlenOak fifth 385; Perry sixth 414; McKinley seventh 503.

Division I Sectional Tournament, The Elms Country Club (par 72), Wednesday, October 4
Qualifiers: Top 4 teams and 4 individuals not on a qualifying team
The success Ava Kemp enjoyed in the Postseason Tournament, shooting 75, continued to the sectional, although she had to rally from a rough start with three bogeys. However, Ava followed them up with two pars and an eagle, shooting another 75 to earn a share of first place with Jackson junior Cara Murphy. Ellie Hutzler shot 78, Kylie Porter 82, and lone senior Olivia Pfannenschmidt 89. Allysa Evans was Hoover’s fifth player. Ava helped her team to win the team title by 11 strokes with 324. Jackson finished in second place with 335, Lake in third 359, and Green in fourth 365. As one can see, the Federal League was well represented.  All four team district qualifiers were from the Federal League.  

A note of interest though is that both the Hoover Vikings team and Ava Kemp defended their sectional titles.

The top four individuals not on a qualifying team were: Marlington junior Zoe Mort (77), Perry senior Natalie Ulum (83), Copley senior Caroline Roush (88) won on the first hole of a playoff for third place, and Louisville senior Anna Myers (88) won on the third hole of a playoff for fourth place.

Division I District Tournament, Brookledge Golf Club (par 71), Wednesday, October 11
Qualifiers: Top 4 teams and 4 individuals not on a qualifying team
To quote The Repository, “The Division I girls golf district tournament is always a beast.” To substantiate this quote, the Hoover girls had two really good stretches and two not so good, which outweighed the good ones. In spite of that though, the Vikings found a way to survive their eighth straight trip to state as a team. Their team score of 345 earned them a fourth place finish to advance to state tournament play at Ohio State’s Gray Course the following week. Kylie Porter, who was in contention for medalist honors earlier in the afternoon, led the Vikings with 82, Ava Kemp shot 84, Ellie Hutzler 87, and Alyssa Evans rounded out the scoring with 92.  Hoover’s fifth player was Olivia Pfannenschmidt.

The first place team advancing to state was Magnificat with 323, followed by second place Medina Highland 323, third place Hudson 343, and fourth place Hoover 345.  

Medina Highland senior Isabella Goyette won medalist honors with 73. 

The top 4 individuals not on a qualifying team were: Aurora junior Gracyn Vidovic (75), Solon sophomore Serena Wu (76), Stow-Munroe Falls senior Gabriella Berlingieri won third in a playoff with 78, and Roosevelt senior Madolyn Kost won fourth in a playoff with 78.

Division I State Tournament, The Ohio State University Gray Course (par 70), Friday-Saturday, October 20-21
12 Teams, 72 players
The Dublin Jerome Girls golf team never trailed during its seventh OHSAA Division I State Championship win with 597, which was 11 strokes better than second place Magnificat’s 608. Magnificat’s two-day total of 608 was tied by New Albany, but Magnificat won the fifth player tie-breaker. The Dublin Jerome Celtics is still the only girls golf team with more than four state championships.

New Albany sophomore Mia Hammond won medalist honors with a record-setting two-day 4-under par 136 (67-69). She set the OHSAA Division I individual state tournament record and tied the all-divisions record at an OHSAA girls golf state tournament.

The Hoover girls finished in ninth place with 669. Hoover’s top finisher Ellie Hutzler tied for 31st with 159. Teammates Ava Kemp shot 162, Kylie Porter 172, and Alyssa Evans 176 rounded out the scoring. Olivia Pfannenschmidt was Hoover’s fifth player.

Division II Sectional Tournament, The Pines Golf Club (par 72), Wednesday, September 27
Qualifiers: Top 4 teams and 4 individuals not on a qualifying team
The East Canton Hornets girls golf team finished second with a season-low round of 389 while the Canton South Wildcats finished third with 393 to advance to district play at Good Park Golf Course. 

East Canton junior Mia Steigerwald finished first with 91, junior Elyse Mallette second with 97, sophomore Charlie Robinson third with 98, and freshman Meghan Steigerwald fourth with 103, rounding out the scoring for the Hornets. Junior Ella Carter was East Canton’s fifth player.

Canton South senior Delaney Kruger finished first with 85, sophomore Leah Cramer second with 98, sophomore Hailey Franks third with 104, and senior Erin Foster fourth with 106 to round out the scoring for the Wildcats. Senior Mia Zellers was Canton South’s fifth player.

Orrville senior Abby Ankenman won medalist honors with 80.

The top four teams advancing to district play were:  Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (366), East Canton (389), Canton South (393), and Keystone (411).

Division II District Tournament, Good Park Golf Course (par 71), Monday, October 2
Qualifiers: Top 3 teams and 3 individuals not on a qualifying team
The top three teams advancing to state were:  Independence (344), Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (348), and Laurel (359).  The three individuals not on a qualifying team were:  United senior Mati Zines winning first in a playoff with 73 against Orrville senior Abby Ankenman, and Southeast junior Taylor Blazek (78) finishing in third place. Mati Zines and Abby Ankenman shared co-medalists honors with 73.

Canton South placed 5th with 374.  East Canton finished in 11th place with 403.

Division II State Tournament, The Ohio State University Gray Course (par 70), Friday-Saturday, October 13-14
12 teams, 72 players
The Columbus Academy girls golfers on Friday shot a single round Division II team state tournament record 307. On a rainy Saturday, they followed their record up with 313, winning their second consecutive state championship and set the Division II overall state record 620 that was previously held by Lima Central Catholic’s 630 in 2020. 

Shaker Heights Laurel senior Siena Maschke won medalist honors with 143 (70-73).

The Sugarcreek Garaway girls golfers had five seniors on their team who played in the state tournament each of the last three years and finished in second place with 637. The Pirates have competed in the state tournament 11 times and took home the state runner-up trophy for the second consecutive year.

Stark County Girls Golfer of the Year and Coach of the Year
Our congratulations to Marlington junior Zoe Mort, who was voted the Girls Golfer of the Year by the Stark County Golf Coaches Association!

Zoe’s accomplishments are many, which include helping Marlington High School to a Division II state runner-up in 2021, tying for 9th place individually, qualified for Division I District Tournament play in 2022 and 2023, has broken five school records, Eastern Buckeye Conference/Tri-League Tournament medalist, EBC Player of the Year, won five consecutive First Tee of Canton Schorsten Memorial Junior Golf Tournaments, and Stark County Girls Golf Championships winner in 2023.

Coach of the Year--Our congratulations to Hoover High coach Scott Snyder, who was voted the Stark County Girls Coach of the Year!  Coach Snyder led the Vikings to the Division I state tournament, finishing in ninth place.

Both honors have back-to-back representation. In 2022, Marlington High graduate Maria Warner was voted Girls Golfer of the Year and Coach Snyder the Girls Coach of the Year.

SCWAGA Scholarship Winner
Hoover High graduate Hannah Higgins is the recipient of SCWAGA’s Betty Kerby Peppard Scholarship, awarding $500.  Hannah is attending and playing golf for Lewis University.  She is majoring in Secondary Education and History.

SCWAGA Scholarship 
Since 1999, SCWAGA has awarded 40 scholarships, mostly in the amount of $500. One change we are very happy to announce for 2024 is that our Betty Kerby Peppard Scholarship will be awarded in the amount of $1,000 to an eligible graduating senior girls golfer after our Peg Miller Memorial Team Tournament in July. Our Scholarship Application is available on our website at scwaga.com for further information. 

Junior Girls Golf in 2024
Ohio State is no longer wishing to host the Division I and II boys and girls tournaments. Division II girls will play at Firestone Country Club's Fazio Course on October 13 and 14.   Division I girls will play at NCR Country Club's North Course in Kettering, a suburb of Dayton, on October 14 and 15.  Both sites are under contract only for the 2024 season.

In Division I, GlenOak (3), Green (3), Hoover (8), Jackson (14), Louisville (1), McKinley (1), and Perry (7) have all made state appearances, representing Stark County, with Hoover the most recent in 2023. In Division II, Canton Central Catholic (2), Marlington (2), and Minerva (2) have also made state appearances. In 2009, Alliance senior Tiana Jones won Division I State Champion in 18 holes due to rain cancelling round one. With the return of several juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, the 2024 season should be quite an exciting one. We wish both Division I and II girls golfers our very best as they begin their journey to the state tournament. 
First Tee of Canton Schorsten Memorial Junior Golf Tournament, Raintree Golf Club (par 72), Monday-Tuesday, July 17-18
Hoover High graduate Hannah Higgins won the First Tee of Canton Schorsten Memorial Junior Tournament in 2022. One of her summer goals in 2023 though was to be a repeat winner of this tournament. She held a 2-stroke lead after the first round of play and met her goal with a 2-day score of 152 in the 16-18 division to win the tournament. 

Hoover junior Ava Kemp followed in second place with 155, and Marlington junior Zoe Mort took third place with 164.

Federal League 2023 Standings
Hoover and Jackson tied for first place in the Federal League. They were followed by Green, GlenOak, Lake, Perry, and Mckinley.

Stark County Girls Golf Championships, Pleasant View Golf Club (par 71), Saturday, September 23
Zoe Mort won medalist honors in an exciting win over Ava Kemp. Zoe shot a 4-under par 67, narrowly beating Ava, who shot a 68.

Ava did help her team to win first place with a 314. Jackson won second place with 328; Lake third place 348; Louisville fourth 362; GlenOak fifth 362; Massillon Washington sixth 373; Marlington seventh 378; Perry eighth 386; Alliance ninth 423; Canton Central Catholic tenth 481.