Heart of Ohio Junior Golf Association honored Guest Speaker Ed Schoonmaker, junior members and volunteers at its 34th annual Year-End Awards Event held at Prospect Community Park Thursday.
Schoonmaker, a former golf coach, assistant football coach, athletic director, director of technology and principal during his administrative career at Marion City Schools reiterated the importance that golf teaches work ethic, tenacity and self-discipline and that it goes on into life. Honesty and integrity are the cornerstones of golf.
Alex Crowe of Fairbanks received top honor of the season and was presented the David J. Wensinger Player of the Year by Dr. Jerry Wensinger. He scored 104 points to top the 16-18 division, which entitled him to the Player of the Year rotating trophy.
Spencer Keller of Galion was second with 88 points and received the Ross Carley Memorial Player of the Year 1st Runner-up $1700 scholarship award. Alex Pratt of Pleasant, who earned 87 points was presented the Wensinger Family Player of the Year 2nd Runner-up $500 award, and Nathan Stewart of Delaware Christian with 81 points was 3rd runner-up to Player of the Year and received the HOJGA $500 scholarship award.
Stewart was also honored with the HOJGA 3-Year Accumulative Point $750 Scholarship and Max Longwell of Galion received the NUCOR Steel Marion “Most Improved” $500 scholarship award. Pratt was voted by his division juniors to receive the Knights of Columbus Sportsmanship $500 award. The Marion County Youth Foundation Merit $1000 scholarship was awarded to Mallory Graham of Mount Gilead. Mason Rinehart of Pleasant was recipient of the Charles W. Emans Patriot $500 scholarship award.
Keller was first in low-scoring average with 73.4 which entitled him to receive the rotating trophy. Crowe was second with 75, Pratt at 76, followed by Jacob Beaschler of Harding 77.8, then Stewart and Graham who tied at 78.2.
Isaac Dillon of Elgin was winner with 123 points to top the 13-15 group to receive the rotating trophy and the HOJGA 13-15 Player of the Year low-scoring average rotating trophy with his average of 80. Brock Montgomery of Upper Sandusky was second in points with 88, Fairbanks Chase Brackenridge was third with 85. Logan Keller of Galion earned 81 and Nicholas McMullen of Galion, 74 to round off the top five in points. McMullen was second in low-scoring average at 82.6, followed by Montgomery at 84.6, Keller at 86 and Brackenridge at 87.2
Other Sportsmanship winners were McMullen in the 13-15 division, and Grayson Keller of Buckeye Valley in the 12 and under group — all honorees in each division received plaques.
Eagle Club plaque honorees in 16-18 were Beaschler, Pratt, Rinehart (2) and Stewart. Plaques were also presented for Most Birdies of the season in 16-18 division to Pratt with 14, and in 13-15, Dillon with 12. William Reiser of Marysville won Most Pars in 12 and under at 8.
Kolton Crider of Pleasant was the top seller of raffle tickets and won $100. The winner of the raffle prize — a set of Callaway irons — was Andrew Crowe of Fairbanks.
• HOJGA held its Chad A. Wheeler Best of the Best tournament last Tuesday at Lincoln Hills, with 12 winners and runners-up in the season’s tournament series participating. The annual memorial tournament honors Chad A. Wheeler of Upper Sandusky, who passed suddenly in 1991. He had received the HOJGA Player of the Year award in 1990.
Gaglion’s Spencer Keller claimed the Best of the Best title with his winning score of 74. Nathan Stewart of Delaware Christian was second at 78 and Jacob Beaschler of Marion Harding edged in to place third at 80. Mallory Graham of Mount Gilead carded 82 for fourth, while Elgin’s Isaac Dillon and Fairbanks’ Alexander Crowe tied for fifth at 83.
Other scorers included Mason Rinehart of Pleasant with 86, followed by Nicholas McMullen of Galion at 88. Logan Keller and Max Longwell, both of Galion, tied with 90s. Grant Bentley of Northmor shot 94 and Maura Murphy of Pleasant finished with 106.