A few weeks ago, at the District 3 Class AAA golf championships, Central York finally did what it had been attempting to do – unseat perennial golf power Manheim Township.
After Wednesday’s PIAA Class AAA championships, the Panthers have a new goal – to reach the top of the state.
With Joe Parrini shooting a 1-under par 70, which was the best score of the day for all competitors, Central posted a terrific total of 307 points. However, Pittsburgh Central Catholic was a bit better, scoring 297 to capture the state title.
The Panthers ended up third, one point out of second-place finisher Nazareth Area.
“It’s a little disappointing to come up a little bit short in the end. But, third best team in the state, man, that is quite the accomplishment for these young kids,” said Central coach Sean Guerin.
“I’m happy. I know some of the guys on the team are kicking themselves about their rounds. But we should be proud,” Parrini said. “It’s the first time we have won a district championship and our first appearance at states. They are definitely positive things.”
Julianne Lee shot a 73, Carson Bacha a 79 and Will Gekas an 85 for the Panthers scorers on Wednesday. Matt Bricker also played, but wasn’t in the top-four finishers for the team.
But the best news is that all five players return next season. Four are currently juniors and Bacha is just a freshman.
“It does sting a little bit to know we were that close and had some guys that struggled a little bit,” Guerin said. “But first year here for the team, we have this whole team returning next year. It can be a learning process and see what we can do next year.”
Steady as he could be, Parrini set the pace for the field. He played his back-nine in two-under with a 33 and was much better than he was during the individual tournament, Monday and Tuesday.
“I was just finding more greens and keeping the golf course in front of me,” he said. “I didn’t make many mistakes, had three birdies and two bogeys, it was a pretty consistent round. Especially around here, if you kind of try too hard, it will get you real quick.”
After the cool and windy days for the individual competition, Wednesday’s bright sunshine was welcome. Even the wind died down, although the temperature remained cool. The improved weather made for better scores.
“That helps, the conditions out here were perfect for scoring. It was a little cold at times, but really, it was prime conditions,” said Parrini.
With two birdies and a bogey, Lee, who placed third in the girls’ AAA individually, shot 34 on her back nine.
Parrini said now the team has something to look forward to.
“Getting here and realizing we can compete, states will be on our mind,” he said. “But next year is a whole new year. We have to start over and work our process again like we did this year and hope for a better result.”
With a score of 309, nearby Lancaster Catholic won the Class AA boys’ competition.
“All year we’ve sort of been talking about state champs,” said Crusaders senior Lauren Bird. “We had a group message for our golf team and named it state champs 2016. I think it’s always been in the back of our heads this year.”
Central Valley (368) scored the AA girls team tourney by one stroke and Shady Side Academy (330) won the AAA girls title.