The Falcons' golf team took home the Portage

By Brian King Record-Courier staff correspondent Published:

The Falcons' golf team took home the Portage County League overall championship and the tournament title, as it outshot Rootstown 322-356 at the PCL Tournament held at Oak Knolls East Thursday.

Field not only captured both team honors, but also took home the lion's share of the individual medals as well. Sophomore Brett Walchalk earned the gold medal with his tournament-best round of 5-over-par 77, while freshmen teammate Nate Federonick took home the bronze medal with his round of 80.

"I was pleased to see Brett and Nate both finish as medalists," said Field coach Rich Eden. "It's nice when you're that deep. When you have the horses it is pretty easy."

The Falcons finished the season undefeated, and their victory over the Rovers marked their 29th consecutive win in PCL action. First-year player and senior Charlie Walker also scored for the Falcons, as he shot an 82 while Ray Barry turned in the fourth Field score with an impressive 83. Besides Walker, the Falcons will return their top four scorers for next season as well.

"That is the depth I have been talking about," said Eden. "We have that depth coming back for a couple of years."

The Rovers topped the PCL National Division throughout the 2000 campaign. They weren't able to knock off Field, but were not slighted in the individual honors. Jeff Eckenwiler finished the day as the silver medalist with his round of 79 while his coach, Keith Waesch, was voted PCL Coach of the Year by his peers.

"Jeff continued to play as good a golf as anyone has all year," said Waesch. "He has certainly proved that he is as good as anyone in the league, and showed it again (Thursday). He had a heck of a senior season."

T.J. Riggie and Logan Vair each shot 91 for the Rovers, while Ryan Stelzer and J.P. Marozzi carded 95s. Despite the loss to Field, the Rovers are looking at the season as a success.

"I can't be any happier with this group," said Waesch. "We didn't beat Field, but they are a very good team. This is one of, if not the best team in Rootstown history, and we have a lot to be proud of after a 15-3 season."

Crestwood (362 team score) edged out Mogadore (367) in the third-place matchup as the Red Devils were led by Ryan Pesecky (85). Mogadore got a lift from Craig Bramlett's round of 89 and an 87 by Troy Brooks, but couldn't top the Red Devils.

Southeast, which defeated Waterloo 348-382, turned in the second-best score of the day to place fifth in the final overall standings. The Pirates, led by Matt Hricko and his round of 84, played a solid back nine. Eric Gorham (86), Joe Divoky (88) and Brent Hilliard (90) rounded out the Pirate lineup.

"I was really pleased with the way Matt, Joe, and especially Eric played," said Southeast coach Vic Marozzi. "My hat is off to Field. Their score was great and I wish them the best of luck."

Streetsboro (349) may not have accomplished its goal of finishing second to Field on the day but, with the victory in the cross-division format over Windham (366), the Rockets finished the year with a winning record (10-9) and the distinction of seventh place. Russ Schaeffer (83) led the way for the Rockets while Jeremy Knight (85) and Jason Polak (87) also played well.

"To us it was like Field and the rest of the league, and we wanted to be tops of everyone left," said Streetsboro coach Jeff Rainer. "Because of our record we had to play for seventh place, but I think we showed that we're one of the best teams. We just had some stumbling blocks along the way."

Matt Long and Zack Thomas each shot 85s to lead the way for Windham, while Rob Layer carded an 87 to help Garfield (366) top Woodridge (369) in the ninth-place contest. Woodridge was paced by Mark Young and his round of 87.

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Portage County League Golf TOURNAMENT

(At Oak Knolls East, Par 72)

FIRST-PLACE MATCH

Field 322, Rootstown 356

FIELD (322) _ 1. Brett Walchalk 77; 2. Nate Federonick 80; 3. Charlie Walker 82; 4. Ray Barry 83; 5. Jesse Bruce 84; 6. Jeff Trout 86.

ROOTSTOWN (356) _ 1. Jeff Eckenwiler 79; 2. T.J. Riggie 91; 3. Logan Vair 91; 4. Ryan Stelzer 95; 5. J.P. Marozzi 95; 6. Joe Orr 105.

THIRD-PLACE MATCH

Crestwood 362, Mogadore 367

CRESTWOOD (362) _ 1. Ryan Pesecky 85; 2. Wyatt Mann 90; 3. Matt Hartman 91; 4. Adam Link 96; 5. Justin Muesel 100; 6. Jeff Gries 112.

MOGADORE (367) _ 1. Troy Brooks 87; 2. Craig Bramlett 89; 3. Eric Guthier 95; 4. Aaron Davis 96; 5. Nick Petit 102; 6. John Menefee 104.

FIFTH-PLACE MATCH

Southeast 348, Waterloo 382

SOUTHEAST (348) _ 1. Matt Hricko 84; 2. Eric Gorham 86; 3. Joe Divoky 88; 4. Brent Hilliard 90; 5. Rance Robenstine 94; 6. Eddie Roberts 101.

WATERLOO (382) _ 1. Keith Ellsworth 93; 2. Jason Markham 95; 3. Brett Goodyear 96; 4. Phillip Mayfield 98; 5. Dan Sheaffer 101; 6. Ryan Infante 101.

SEVENTH-PLACE MATCH

Streetsboro 349, Windham 366

STREETSBORO (349) _ 1. Russ Schaeffer 83; 2. Jeremy Knight 85; 3. Jason Polak 87; 4. Josh Polak 94; 5. Adam Abramowicz 96; Regis Faivre 98.

WINDHAM (366) _ 1. Matt Long 85; 2. Zack Thomas 85; 3. Justin Kiser 96; 4. Kyle Stanley 100; 5. Branden Kropp 102; 6. Will Boxler 105.

NINTH-PLACE MATCH

Garfield 366, Woodridge 369

GARFIELD (366) _ 1. Rob Layer 87; 2. Chris Dyett 90; 3. Matt Szabaga 93; 4. Jeff Girtz 96; 5. Ashley Brosius 110; 6. James Fede 113.

WOODRIDGE (369) _ 1. Mark Young 87; 2. Ryan Odell 88; 3. Ken Young 94; 4. Yuto Hirota 100; 5. Joe Myers 102; 6. Jeff Morgan 115.

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