By Garth Shanklin
The Clermont Northeastern Lady Rockets golf team is in an interesting position.
The squad clinched the Cincinnati Girls’ Golf Conference title earlier this week, carding a 192 in the final round to hold off McNicholas High School, 567-580. With that title under their belt, the team now turns their attention to another conference championship.
The Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference is sponsoring girls’ golf for the first time this season, but due to the difficulties of getting matches for girls’ teams, Clermont Northeastern is participating in both conferences. With the CGGC title already in hand, the Lady Rockets now face a tough task at hand in the SBAAC.
The Lady Rockets trailed Clinton-Massie by six strokes at the end of the first of six rounds of play, one round hosted by each school. The Lady Rockets chipped away, re-taking the lead in the third round at Buttermilk Falls on August 29 and shooting a team-best 175 in their most recent match at Wilmington Elks on Thursday, August 31.
Taylor Shumard played a key role in the team’s performance in the fourth round, carding a 38 to earn medalist honors. She continued her strong play from the CGGC tournament, in which she was one of three Lady Rockets to earn first-team all-conference honors, along with Skylar Shircliff and Sadie Hoeppner. Emily Kuntz and Keeley Keirns were second-team honorees.
New Richmond sits in fourth place in the SBAAC girls’ standings, 42 strokes behind Wilmington for third. The Lady Lions are only in their second season as a program, and Katie Gardner is one stroke away from breaking into the top 12 individually with 36 holes to play, which would earn her all-conference honors.
Taylor Munafo is pacing the Goshen Lady Warriors, who sit in sixth place, 11 strokes behind Georgetown. Munafo’s 254 is good for 19th overall.
The Lady Rockets have home-field advantage in the next round of the SBAAC tournament, as the fifth round is scheduled to be hosted at Cedar Trace Golf Course on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Prior to that, the squad traveled to Lima, Ohio for the LCC Lady Thunderbird Invitational. Shircliff led all Lady Rocket golfers, carding a 93 en route to a 12th-place finish overall. Shumard and Keirns tied for 27th.
Meanwhile, on the boys’ side, the East Clinton Astros have seized control of the team standings with a 37-stroke lead over Georgetown. Lance Sininger is pacing the G-Men and the rest of the conference with a score of 172, 34 shots better than the second-place golfer, East Clinton’s Jacob Olds.
Locally, CNE sits in third place, 32 strokes ahead of Williamsburg. The Wildcats have two golfers (Jacob Wells and Jordan Block) in the top six in the conference, while CNE is led by Chris Moorhouse and Noah Hoeppner, who sit in seventh and 12th overall individually. Felicity (1013) and Bethel-Tate (1050) sit fifth and sixth, respectively, in the team standings, with Nathan Peace’s 240 pacing the Cardinals.
In the American Division, the two newest schools are tied for the league lead with three rounds complete. Wilmington carded a 170 at Stillmeadows on Thursday, August 31 to draw even with Clinton-Massie at 500 strokes. Western Brown sits fourth, 62 back of the duo and 35 ahead of New Richmond. Batavia (657) and Goshen (717) sit sixth and seventh, respectively.
Individually, New Richmond’s Lane Flamm leads all locals with a 137, good for a spot on the second-team all-conference squad as of this writing. Teammate Jack Beineke has a 143 through three rounds.
The boys’ National Division tournament resumes at CNE’s Cedar Trace Golf Course on Monday, Sept. 11. The 18-hole final is at Eagles Nest Golf Course on Thursday, Sept. 14, beginning at 10:30 a.m.The girls’ 18-hole final is one day earlier, on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at Elks Lodge in Wilmington, Ohio. That contest is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.