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Mohawk 4th in districts to qualify for state

Nice recovery
Mohawk’s Lance Frankart hits a shot onto the 18th green at Stone Ridge Golf Club after his second shot went into the water Thursday. Frankart recovered to finish third on his team with an 89 as Mohawk qualified for the state tournament or the first time in school history.
Daily Chief-Union/Brian Hemminger


City editor

BOWLING GREEN — Mohawk boys golf coach Michael Haynes had high expectations heading into the 2022 season, but never in his wildest dreams did he think he’d be taking his team to state.

That’s exactly what happened Thursday when Mohawk took fourth place in the Division III Northwest District at Stone Ridge Golf Club in Bowling Green to qualify for the state golf tournament for the first time in school history.

Chip shot
Wynford’s Micah Greene chips onto the 17th green Thursday at the Division III Northwest District tournament at Stone Ridge Golf Club in Bowling Green. Greene shot an 80 at the event and missed potentially qualifying for the state tournament by one stroke.
Daily Chief-Union/Brian Hemminger

“My stomach’s turning, my hands are shaking,” Haynes said. “I’m so proud of the boys. We expected to compete, but in this situation that we’re in now, I’m at a loss for words to be honest with you.”

Haynes said the team’s goal this season was to compete for the Northern 10 Athletic Conference title and possibly qualify for the district tournament, which it did.

“This (state) was not on our list,” Haynes said. “The kids are still in awe. I don’t think it’s hit them just yet until we make the reservations for next week.”

Uphill climb
Riverdale’s Carter Koehler attempts to chip up onto the green on hole No. 16 on Thursday at the Division III district tournament at Stone Ridge Golf Club in Bowling Green. Koeher finished with an overall score of 100 on the day.
Daily Chief-Union/Brian Hemminger

The Warriors were led by senior Kael Margraf, who shot an impressive 78 and would have qualified for state individually had the team not made it alongside him.

“Kael Margraf played amazing,” Haynes said. “Kael came through as a great leader. He had an eagle, a birdie on his last few holes. It propels your score.”

Perhaps the biggest hero for the Warriors was junior Travis Geary. Geary has typically been the team’s No. 5 golfer, but he picked the right time to have the best round of his life with an 84.

“Travis Geary, oh my gosh, Travis Geary, shooting the best round of his life today to help carry us and get us to the last spot,” Haynes said. “We always call him ‘Smooth Travis,’ because he’s steady. Golf is crazy, man. It’s crazy.”

Early on, it didn’t seem like Mohawk would be competitive as the team struggled in its first few holes, but the Warriors showed their resilience down the stretch.

A little off the top
Wynford’s Weston Prenger helps trim the grass with his approach shot on No. 17 Thursday at the Division III Northwest District tournament at Stone Ridge Golf Club in Bowling Green. Prenger shot a 91, which was the second best score for the Royals on the day.
Daily Chief-Union/Brian Hemminger

“Lance (Frankart) and Hunter (Haynes) triple-bogeyed and quadruple-bogeyed our second hole of the day and Ryan Bogner struggled on the first nine, but they played so well through the tough times,” Haynes said. “If you have a bad hole, you can redeem yourself and get a stroke back. The mental part of golf, they’re getting it. They’re having fun. This is a great group of kids and they’re easy to coach. This is a very exciting time for us and for Warrior nation.”

Frankart finished with an 89 while Hunter Haynes had a 92. Bogner’s 105 did not count toward the team total.

Delphos St. John’s took first place with a team score of 328. Minster was second at 339 and both Ottoville and Mohawk shot 343, with Ottoville winning the fifth score tiebreaker. Thankfully, the top four teams in the district advanced to the state tournament. 

Jack Gerker from St. John’s was the medalist with a 2-over-par 74.

Wynford, which won the N10 this season, was right in the thick of the race to advance to state until faltering in the final few holes.

He shoots, he scores
Mohawk’s Kael Margraf putts on No. 18 Thursday at the Division III Northwest District tournament at Stone Ridge Golf Club in Bowling Green. Margraf’s 78 would have qualified him for the state tournament individually, but he instead will compete with the rest of his team, which advanced after finishing fourth in the district.
Daily Chief-Union/Brian Hemminger

“About halfway through when Micah (Greene) birdied (18), we were second place in the tournament,” Wynford coach Mike Powers said. “And you try not to look at that too much throughout the day and we were in that second to third and fourth spot through the final holes, which is a great spot. The problem is the kids get so wrapped up in what everyone else is doing and not focusing on their own game.”

Greene led the Royals with an 80, which was one stroke away from potentially qualifying individually for the state tournament.

“One stroke away from that playoff,” Powers said. “(Micah) played great. He shot a 39 on the back nine, which was one of his best rounds all year and for a course that we aren’t familiar with, that makes it more outstanding. Then he turned around and put another solid round on the front nine with his 41. I feel for him just missing by a stroke. Obviously, he’d love to get to state and he gave it a shot. After he got done and we were looking at the scores and realizing we were gonna miss it by one.”

Powers said Greene missed advancing to the district tournament by one stroke last year, so he made a huge improvement this season. 

“The next step is state,” Powers said.  

Wynford finished 10th out of 18 teams with an overall score of 358. Weston Prenger shot a 91. Drew Johnson shot a 92 and Dylon Robinson shot a 95. Dawson Pelter’s 100 did not count toward the team total.

Carey’s Kobe Ratliff tees off on No. 10 on Thursday at Stone Ridge Golf Club in Bowling Green. Ratliff finished with a 91 to lead the Blue Devils on the day.
Daily Chief-Union/Brian Hemminger

Powers is optimistic about next season considering he’s returning four of his top five golfers.

“If you look at our entire team, we’ll lose Dylon, who has been a good senior leader,” he said. “We have Micah coming back as a senior and the rest are sophomores. We’re still a young team. This year was more about experience and just seeing what number we can post and just have fun.” 

Carey also participated in the district tournament as a team after winning its sectional, although the young squad struggled, finishing in 15th place with a team score of 388.

“My kids were excited to have this opportunity,” Carey coach Martin Baker said. “The kids had a business mentality at sectionals and I’m proud of them for that and I’m proud to see them battle out here on a very tough course. This is a great experience for us moving forward. Our goal is to not only get back here next year but also to compete here and make some other teams sweat.”

The Blue Devils were led by junior Kobe Ratliff, who shot a 91. Chase Mullholand followed with a 95 and Brody Baker had a 99. Senior Vaughn Coppler ended his golf career with a 103 to round out the scoring. Nathaniel Crawford just missed out on contributing with a 104. 

Digging out
Mohawk’s Hunter Haynes escapes a bunker on No. 18 Thursday at the Division III district tournament at Stone Ridge Golf Club in Bowling Green. Haynes shot a 92 as the final qualifying score for Mohawk, which advanced to state as a team.
Daily Chief-Union/Brian Hemminger

“We’re gonna get better,” Baker said. “Four of the five kids that played today are back next year. With their attitude, I know they’ll get better. We’re glad to have this experience. I’m hoping one day to get somebody or a team to that next state level. Hopefully we laid a good foundation today.” 

Lastly, while Riverdale did not qualify for the district tournament as a team, individual Carter Koehler advanced.

Koehler’s district experience concluded with a 100 score. Still a junior, coach Mark Ruggles expects him to make it back next year.

“(Carter) showed great perseverance,” Ruggles said. “It seemed like any time he had a bad shot, he recovered well with his next shot. This is only his second full year playing golf and we’ve got a whole ‘nother year. He’s improved a lot. The goal next year is to be back here and hopefully Carter will have lots of company with his teammates alongside him.”

The Warriors will compete in the state tournament at 9:50 a.m. Oct. 14 at North Star Golf Course in Sunbury.

Team results

1. St. John’s (Delphos) 328*, 2. Minster 339*, 3. Ottoville 343* 3. Mohawk 343*, 5. Old Fort 347, 6. Montpelier 349. 7. Marion Local 353. 8. Wayne Trace 355. 8. Pettisville 355. 10. Wynford 358. 11. Kalida 360. 12 Lakota 364. 13. St. Joseph Central Catholic 365, 14. St. Mary Central Catholic 377, 15. Carey 388, 16. Arcadia 405, 17. Allen East 406, 18. Fairview 410.

* denotes state qualifiers.

Individual results

Mohawk: Margraf 39-39—78, Geary 42-42—84, Frankart 44-45—89, Haynes 47-45—92, Bogner 50-55—105.

Wynford: Greene 41-39—80, Prenger 46-45—91, Johnson 47-45—92, Robinson 50-45—95, Pelter 49-51—100.

Carey: Ratliff 44-47—91, Mullholand 47-48—95, Baker 51-48—99, Coppler 53-50—104, Crawford 52-52—104.

Riverdale: Koehler 48-52—100.

Medalist: Gerker (St. John’s) 36-38—74.

Individual state qualifiers: Clark (Danbury) 36-39—75, Judy (Lima Central Catholic) 37-38—75, Otto (Miller City) 37-41—78, Magers (Old Fort) 40-39—79.

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