Over the course of the golf season, Lehighton and Tamaqua are stuck competing against some biggers schools in their respective conferences.
So while it was nice for the Indians to get a break from Mountain Valley Conference play yesterday afternoon, it turned out to be even sweeter for the Blue Raiders to have a day off from competition within the Schuylkill League.
That because the Blue Raiders walk off the Villas Crossing Golf Course with a 336-370 non-conference win over visiting Lehighton.
"The kids are more relaxed when they're playing kids they feel they can compete with," said first year Tamaqua head coach Mike Luna. "We go to different places and we step on courses like Schuylkill Country Club or Hidden Valley and their eyes get really big when they step on a course like that.
"So, being at our home course here, it definitely settles the kids down. But, to have them playing against kids that they feel they can compete with going into the match makes it better yet."
The Blue Raiders' Troy Reinhardt may have been the most comfortable out on the course Monday afternoon.
The last time he played on the Blue Raiders' home course, the senior carded a season-best 78. A few days earlier, Reinhardt grabbed medalist honors with a 79 at Indian Hills, making this his third straight sub-80s round
Mike Weinert and Travis Miller followed close behind Reinhardt to help seal the deal, which moves the the Blue Raiders to 4-4 overall on the season.
"It has been nice considering that when we started the year we weren't sure how good we would be or how well we would actually stack up with the competition," Luna said. "And, I can see it in the kids and their play. They're starting to be more comfortable. They're starting to be more confident in their shots and their abilities out on the golf course, which is great to see as the season goes on."
Lehighton head coach Matt Fisher didn't have the pleasure of seeing anyone one of his Indians stay close to Reinhardt. But, he was able to see progress in one of the many young golfers on his team as freshman Nick McGeehan shot an Indian low score of 84.
"I believe he has been out at this course a couple of times, so he knew what to expect," Fisher said. "A lot of the courses he has been at, especially at the away courses in the MVC, he has never seen before. So, I think that he had more advantage since he has played and practice here before."
Fisher also commented on the tight competition between the schools in recent years.
"We won last year, they won the year before that and then we won the year before that.," Fisher said. "I know it has been going back-and-forth for at least the last three years.
"It has been very competitive and the kids enjoyed playing teams that have similar records, similar statistics. I know its becomes more challenging for the kids. It's a great all-around feeling for everyone."
Nick McGeehan 84, Alden Everett 88, Jordan Knappenberger 95, Jeff Horwith 103
Troy Reinhardt 74, Mike Weinert 83, Travis Miller 84, Matt Stanek 95
Played at Villas Crossing Golf Course, par 72