Fighting Tigers fourth at district golf tournament

Published 4:45 am Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ironton golf coach Jeff Kerns had hoped for better. He had to settle for less.

The Fighting Tigers golf team fell short of its team goal of reaching the state, but senior Nathan Kerns did qualify for his second straight individual appearance in the Division II district golf tournament Monday.

“It was bittersweet,” said coach Kerns. “It’s a credit to Nate to get there when he didn’t play his best. I’m happy for him, but I’m disappointed for the team.

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“We didn’t play terrible, but we didn’t play as well as we can. It’s a shame to be that close and not get it done. It wasn’t any player’s fault. If we all shot one less stroke we’d have qualified, or if we each shot two less we would have won.”

Meadowbrook won the tournament with a 324-team score with Tuscarawas Valley the runner-up with a 326 total. Third was Logan Elm at 328 with Ironton and Gallipolis tying for fifth place with a 330.

Nathan Kerns shot a 77 for the low score among individuals not on a qualifying team. He will play in the state tournament on the Ohio State University Scarlet Course the weekend of Oct.10-11.

Not only did Kerns qualify as an individual last season, he played in the state tournament as a freshman when the Fighting Tigers qualified as a team.

Josh Zornes shot an 82 for Ironton, Andy Holtzapfel had an 84, Josh Mullins an 87, and fifth man Mason Weisgarber finished with a 91.

“On the plus side, our team has five sophomores and one freshman back and they’ll have experience,” said coach Kerns. “But they have to step it up. They won’t have Nate. He’s always been the low man every night. They could always count on him, so they’re going to have to fill that gap.”

Ironton finished the season with an 83-15 record. Among those wins were the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League championship, the Division II sectional title, as well as several other tournaments including their own invitational.

“We had a great season, but I’d give back every win this season for five shots,” said coach Kerns.