SOUTH CANAAN — Western Wayne struggled a bit this year in Lackawanna League varsity golf action.
The Wildcats posted just one win through the first five weeks of the regular season, but then caught fire down the stretch.
Coach Marty O’Hora’s squad reeled off three straight victories, culminating with a Senior Day triumph over Mid Valley on Thursday at Red Maples.
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“We have three kids in the starting line-up who never played competitive golf before this year,” said Coach O’Hora. “So, we had to manage our expectations a little bit.
“They’ve been working really hard and it’s great to see it finally paying off. Things have definitely been moving in a positive direction lately.”
With this win, Western Wayne’s record improved to 4-10 on the season.
Jamie Chapman is a multi-sport standout who also excels in baseball and soccer.
The versatile junior is enjoying another stellar links season. On Thursday, Chapman led the Wildcats to a 6.5 to 2.5 victory over Mid Valley. He shot even par day to claim medalist honors.
“This was a pretty good day,” Jamie said. “The course is in great shape and we took advantage of that. This was definitely a good win for us as a team.”
Chapman paired up with playing partner Trinity Graboske to sweep all three points in their group. He routed Mid Valley’s Al DeSousa, 5 and 4, while she rallied for a 1-up victory over Colin Burns.
Also locking up team points for the ‘Cats were seniors Dylan Davitt and Josh Kiefer. Davitt defeated Sydnee MacDonald, 3 and 2, while Kiefer downed JT Gilgallon by the same score.
Chapman closed out the Lackawanna League season undefeated at 14-0. In addition, he will compete at this year’s District 2 Championships thanks to a Top 10 showing at the pre-district qualifier.
Despite wet and windy conditions at Elkview Country Club on Monday, Chapman fired an 18-hole total of 82. That round was good enough for a sixth place tie among all Class AA golfers.
“I’m pretty happy with how I played,” Jamie said. “Elkview is a tough course and it was even tougher because of how wet it was.
“Two things that I’m doing well right now are hitting my approaches and my short game. I need to be more consistent off the tee, but I’ve been working really hard on it.”
This will be Chapman’s third appearance at districts. As a freshman, he carded a round of 87, followed by a 93 last fall.
“This year I’m hoping to shoot somewhere in the low 80s,” Jamie said. “I think if I drive it well and make some putts that I definitely have a shot at states.”
A fond farewell
Western Wayne closed out the regular season slate in fine fashion.
The Wildcats defeated Carbondale Area on Monday by a score of 5.5 to 3.5. They followed that up with a razor-thin 5-4 win over Holy Cross.
Thursday’s victory at home against a young Mid Valley team was bittersweet. While a three-match winning streak was definitely worth celebrating, the euphoria was tempered by the knowledge that four seniors had teed it up for the final time.
Co-captain Dylan Davitt leads a contingent of seniors who were honored after the match. A four-year member of the varsity squad, Davitt’s favorite memory is earning his first win as a freshman by rallying from four holes down against Old Forge.
“Dylan grew up here at Red Maples,” said Coach O’Hora with a laugh. “He knows every inch of this course. Dylan’s a great kid. He’s very unselfish and a really good leader. It’s been a pleasure having him on the team.”
Trinity Graboske, Landon Morcom and Josh Keifer also earned high marks for the contributions they’ve made to the program.
Graboske is another multi-sport athlete who also plays softball. Her favorite golf memory is the Wildcats’ win over Holy Cross. Her future plans include enlisting in the United States Navy.
Morcom also excels on the wrestling mat and volleyball court. His most cherished links memory came when he earned his very first team point as a member of the varsity.
After graduation, Morcom plans to attend the United States Air Force Academy.
Keifer posted a nine-hole total of 44 in his final varsity match. His future plans include attending Johnson College and studying diesel mechanics.
This article originally appeared on Tri-County Independent: Western Wayne defeats Mid Valley in Lackawanna League golf action