Weekly Feature



2018-10-11 / Sports

Quaker golf team shines at ECIC meet

TAYLOR NIGRELLI
Sports Reporter

The Orchard Park golf team once again showed why it’s one of the most dominant programs in Western New York Tuesday when the Quakers guaranteed five of their guys will be at the Section VI Championship in the spring. The team had an impressive showing at ECIC Individual Championships at Elma Meadows.

Eighth-grader Charlie Fischer finished third overall with an 18-hole score of 74 while Jackson Roskow and Ben Spitz tied for fourth at 75. Aidan Shaw tied for ninth at 78 while Connor Balen was 24th at 84. Those five will play in Section VI Championships at River Oaks Golf Course in Grand Island in late May. Hard work has paid off for the Quakers.

“These boys have worked very hard, not just this fall, but all season long,” Orchard Park coach Nate Leary said. “These are players that are constantly working on their games, playing tournaments on their own.

In the fall is the challenge, because now you’re balancing school work and school golf.”


Orchard Park's Charlie Fischer follows through on a swing at ECIC qualifiers at Elma Meadows Oct. 9. Fischer finished third overall at the event. 
Photo by John NormilePurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Orchard Park's Charlie Fischer follows through on a swing at ECIC qualifiers at Elma Meadows Oct. 9. Fischer finished third overall at the event. Photo by John NormilePurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Experience was a major factor for the Quakers. The ECIC event is a difficult one, as the teams have to play 18 holes for the first time all year. It’s the kind of event that favors a golfer who has been there before, which is the case for Spitz, a senior and two juniors in Roskow and Shaw.

“We are playing nine-hole throughout the season, and then all of a sudden you have an 18-hole event,” Leary said. “So, there is a challenge and an art to succeeding under those conditions. But the boys were able to manage that well. Some of the boys are very experienced with this. They have been through this before.”

Even Balen and Fischer, a freshman and eighth-grader respectively, are in their second year playing on the varsity team. Both were impressive on Tuesday, especially considering their age. Mental toughness and focus are attributes for both.

“They seemed to handle the pressure well,” Leary said. “They do it in different ways. Connor, his personality type enables him to leave whatever happened on the last shots behind. He’s already focusing on the next thing. He does that very easily. That is a challenge for most golfers. Charlie is very conscientious on what he chooses to work on in his practice time on his own and is very focused when he’s with me in school practices and I’m asking the boys to focus in on certain things during practice. They absolutely deserve this success they’ve earned on the golf course. It’s not a huge surprise to see them succeed like that.”

The season is not over yet for the Quakers, as they have the ECIC Team Championship Meet Monday also at Elma Meadows at 2 p.m. The four ECIC division champions – Orchard Park, East Aurora/ Holland, Williamsville East and Starpoint. All four teams are undefeated in division play this season. The Quakers’ undefeated season upped their ECIC win streak to 56 matches in a row. They are making some minor tweaks in preparation for the final event of the fall.

“We’ve got three days of practice left before the team championships, so we’ll work hard on the things that I think will most benefit the team in getting ready for that event,” Leary said. “We’ll re- group tomorrow and debrief our rounds a little bit and talk about them. Being the ECIC chairman, I don’t have nearly as much time as other coaches would to do those kinds of things. We’ll do some of that tomorrow before we get going with practice.”

email: tnigrelli @beenews.com

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