By Chris Chaney
Already three weeks into the young 2013 season, the Milford Eagles boys’ golf team is off to a good start, making a solid statement at the Eastern Cincinnati Conference Shootout on Aug. 6 and performing well in both dual and tri matches, notching four players in the top-20 of the league in average.
Fourth-year head coach Phil Sheldon has a eclectic group teeing it up for the Eagles with a senior, a junior and two freshman proving to be the cream of the crop and top four players.
Through four matches, the Eagles have won three of them. In the season opener on Aug. 20, Milford beat Bethel-Tate by 46 strokes and then took down Anderson two days later 151-160 to pick up their first conference win.
Milford won one and lost one in their most recent start, a tri-match at Stillmeadow Country Club on Monday, Aug. 25. The Eagles nipped New Richmond by three strokes, but fell to Turpin by six. The team totals were Turpin 159, Milford 165, New Richmond 168.
Senior Austin Taylor has proven himself to be a reliable No. 1 for the Eagles, earning second place at the ECC Shootout, firing a 3-over par 75, just two strokes behind the medalist.
Taylor medaled in the Eagles’ second match of the year against Anderson, shooting and even-par 36. He also was low Eagle at the tri match between Milford, New Richmond and Turpin, shooting a 4-over par 39 on the back nine at Stillmeadow.
Taylor’s 39.20 9-hole average ranks sixth among the entire ECC and is the best on the Eagles squad.
Freshman Aaron Wade has emerged as a dependable No. 2 player, averaging a 40.20 every time out. Wade shot a 77 at the ECC Shootout, which put him firmly inside the top-10.
In the Eagles’ dual match debut against Bethel, Wade was the medalist with a 3-over par 39 at Deer Track Golf Course.
Nathan Arnold, another freshman, is nipping at Wade’s heels in terms of average, just 1.2 strokes per 9 holes behind him at 41.40.
Junior Andrew Norton ranks fourth in average with a 43.40, but has shown the form to go low for Milford. Norton fired an 8-over par 80 at the ECC Shootout and carded his best round of the season in the Eagles’ nine-stroke win over Anderson on Aug. 22 when he shot a 2-over par 38.
Rounding out the Eagles top six are seniors Tristan Lana and Ryan Schaffner. Lana is averaging a 46.80 per nine holes while Shaffner is good for a 49.00 average.
The Eagles are getting into the bulk of their schedule in the next few weeks beginning with Clermont County rival Glen Este on Aug. 29 at White Oak Golf Course. Currently,
Milford is trailing only Turpin in the ECC standings.