Tamaqua golfers defeat Jim Thorpe
ron gower/times news Mitch Hoffman of Jim Thorpe chips the ball onto the green.
Sometimes winning isn't what it's all about.
Thursday's match between the Jim Thorpe and Tamaqua golf teams wasn't only about a potential win for a pair of young and inexperienced teams.
Rather, it was more about the thrill of some friendly competition out on the greens and fairways at Villas Crossings.
When the scorecards were turned in, it was the Blue Raiders that recorded a 329-386 Schuylkill League victory over Jim Thorpe.
Olympian coach James Hauze was able to find some postives in the loss, however.
"First of all, we only had two kids that had any kind of varsity or jayvee golf experience coming into the season," Hauze said. "So, I have just been delighted today that the kids are having fun and working on their game and learning to get a little better. They didn't get discouraged, they just had fun with the game.
"We really enjoyed it today. I much rather play a team like Tamaqua pretty much every day of the week if I could."
The Raiders' victory completed a season sweep of Thorpe.
Tamaqua head coach Josh Shilko said it was good for his team to play an opponent more on its level after facing some of the league powerhouses in recent matches.
"We have four teams in our division that can go out and win on any day Pine Grove, North Schuylkill, Pottsville and Blue Mountain," Tamaqua head coach Josh Shilko said. "So coming here to play a team that is more on our end of the standings is a good thing for us.
"Instead of playing against golfers who have much lower averages, they can go out and battle the person across from them and know that they can be competitive."
Tamaqua's Mike Weinert earned medalist honors. He was the lone individual to score in the 70's. The sophomore Raider scored a season-best mark score at home with a 78.
"He's a guy that just kind of looks natural out there," said Shilko, of his second-year golfer. "It just comes to him real easy. But, at the same time, he's also working real hard to get better.
"The good thing is Mike is going to be with us for the next few years."
Senior Mitch Hoffman paced Jim Thorpe. He was the lone Olympian to score in the 80s as he recorded a 81 on the day.
"I think today's match is really what it's about or what it should be all about as far as high school level golf goes," Hauze said. "This is a sport they can be playing 20, 30, 40 years from now. I really thought it was fantastic to see these guys simply having fun."
JIM THORPE (386)
Mitch Hoffman 81, Mike Helmer 95, Jake McGeehan 101, Zach Bowman 109
Mike Weinert 78, Nick Toth 81, Travis Miller 84, Adam Frantz 86