MASSILLON — It wasn’t able to win the Federal League and it wasn’t able to win the sectional, but the Jackson girls golf team was able to cheat the calendar.
With it came another Division I district championship.
With a lineup consisting of three freshmen, one sophomore and one junior, it would have been understandable if the Polar Bears and coach Teal Harvey were looking ahead to next year. Especially after third-place finishes in the Federal League and last week’s sectional.
Then came Tuesday’s district at the Legends of Massillon. Then came three rounds in the 70s in the play-five, count-four scoring, something no one else in the field of 17 was able to accomplish.
Then came a team score of 317 and another district championship and an 11th appearance in the state tournament since 2001.
After finishing behind GlenOak and North Canton Hoover in the league and sectional, the Polar Bears flipped the tables, not to mention the calendar, in the biggest event of the season.
GlenOak was second at 328, Hoover was third at 338 and Poland Seminary won a scorecard playoff over Solon to finish fourth at 340.
“I guess we picked a good time to shoot our lowest tournament score of the season,” Harvey said. “In all honesty I thought we could shoot in the 320s but to come in here and shoot 317 is just crazy. With such a young team we knew we would have our ups and downs but it also means there wasn’t any pressure, that we could just go out and play.”
All four teams advance to the 26th annual state tournament next week on the Gray Course in Columbus. Hoover’s appearance was highlighted by Madison Ardelean, whose round of 2-over 74 earned the senior medalist honors.
Advancing as individuals not on qualifying teams are Wadsworth senior Secilia Ho (75), former district medalist Jenn David of Hudson (76), Cloverleaf’s Averi Hanna (76) and Avon Lake’s Paighton Masterson (75).
Once in Columbus it will be a Jackson-fest as the boys will be playing on the Scarlet Course at the same time after winning the district at Pine Hills on Monday.
Freshman Savanna Porter led Jackson with a 78, and freshman Avery Wright and junior Sydney Scibetta were right behind at 79. Sophomore Anastasia Nikolaidis completed the scoring with an 81.
Scibetta’s round was probably the most remarkable. Facing surgery for a torn labrum at the end of the season, Scibetta has played very little. She said she needed eight Advil to get through Tuesday, just her third 18-hole round of the season. If she was in pain, it was hard to see through her post-game smile.
“I’m just glad I was able to play and do whatever I could to help the team,” she said. “We are all very close, best friends.”
GlenOak, which will make its third state appearance in the past four years, got a 75 from freshman Madi Reemsnyder and a 76 from senior Jessica Hahn, who will make her third state appearance.
Ardelean was backed by sophomores Grace May (79) and Mattie Muckleroy (85).
“I just wanted to come out and excel and I was able to do that,” she said of her round of 37-37. “A few of us went out to dinner on Monday and we just talked about the tournament. I had a good feeling. I knew we were going to do something good.”