After finishing as the runner-up in the last two District 3 team tournaments, the Panthers finally came out on top Ryan T Provencher
After watching Manheim Township walk away with a trophy the last two seasons, the Central York golf team said no more. The Panthers won the first District 3 Class 3A team golf championship in school history, beating out Manheim Township, 300-313, Tuesday at Briarwood Golf Club.
For the Central players, it was a moment of pure joy and relief to finally defeat the team that had blocked their entrance to the state tournament in three of the last four seasons.
“We’ve talked about it all year and to get through this as a team is a huge accomplishment for these guys,” Panthers coach Sean Guerin said. “You know you set these goals and when you accomplish your goals it really makes you feel good, and I think they’re super excited about states.”
Also representing Class 3A classification in the tournament were Wilson (332) and Central Dauphin (329) high schools.
In the 2A tournament, Lancaster Catholic (302) repeated as champions by defeating York Catholic (326), Lancaster Country Day (359), Wyomissing (354) and Trinity (372).
To decide a team champion, the top four scores on each team were summed, with the highest score on the five-player team being eliminated. Joe Parrini (69) scored the best score on the day, and teammate Julianne Lee posted the next lowest score in the field (73). Lancaster Catholic's Lauren Bird shot a 74.
The only negative takeaway from Central York moving on is that the team has to say goodbye to Briarwood Golf Club. In the past week, the Panthers have compiled gold medals in the YAIAA team tournament, the YAIAA individual tournament and now the district team tournament, all at Briarwood.
The District 3 boys' and girls' individual championships will be held at Briarwood later this week, with the boys teeing off at Briarwood East at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The girls play Briarwood West starting at 10:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Central credited much of its success to its familiarity with the course.
“Being able to just get over here from school and get our practice in over here is a big advantage,” Parrini said. “Being able to play the course multiple times before any championship is definitely an advantage. Obviously other teams can’t do that because of where they’re located, so we’re thankful for that.”
Although the Panthers will need to travel to a new course, the state meet will also be held in York County. Next up, the Panthers will have to master the links at Heritage Hills Golf Resort for the PIAA team championships Oct. 26.
Showing his experience, Parrini told his teammates before the match that they needed only to focus on the course and not their opponents.
“I think what he said about not worrying about who we were playing against but playing against the course made us a lot better today,” junior William Gekas said after shooting a 79 on Tuesday.
While the Panthers now have more hardware to add to the Central York trophy case, Parrini understands that their journey is far from over.
“We still have a big step ahead of us so we can’t get too happy, but today definitely tied into it,” he said.