More golfers from Central Ohio may have the chance to compete in the Division I boys’ and girls’ state championships this fall.
The influx of teams from the East/Southeast District means that an additional team and individual will qualify for the state from both the Apple Valley Central District Boys’ Tournament and the New Albany Links Girls’ Tournament.
For the boys, it will be the first time since 2014 that the top three teams and the top three individuals who are not in those qualifying teams advance from region to region in Division One. The girls will have three teams and three individuals for the first time since 2005, when the country consisted of one division.
said Larry Morris, director of the Central Region Boys and Girls Golf Tournament. “The girls also participated in some teams (49 total), they also added another team and an individual to say.”
The central, eastern, and southeastern county councils also plan to vote on August 10 to add a fourth boys’ section. The approval would put the Divisional Championships on a par with the Southwest District, which has four teams for 56 Division One boys’ teams.
“I don’t see any way[adding a fourth boys’ division],” said Morris, the dean of students at Fairbanks. “With 16 or 17 schools in a department, that can put a strain on not only the courses, but the course (division) directors.”
Prior to 2015, an East/Southeast team advanced to the Central District Championship. The increase in Division One teams gave the East/Southeast its own territory — and its own automatic state berth — from 2015 to 2021.
During that time, the East/Southeast champ finished no better than 11th (Vincent Warren in 2016) in the 12-team state field. Central District teams have never finished less than seventh and have three champions (Dublin Jerome in 2017-19) and three champions (Jerome in 2015 and St. Charles in 2016 and Olentangi Liberty in 2017) and two third place finishers (Jerome in 2016, Dublin Kaufman in year 2021).
New Philadelphia and Dover relocated to the Northeast after last season, relocating three schools east (Dresden Tree Valley, New Concord John Glenn and Zanesville) and five schools in the Southeast (Athens, Chillicothe, Jackson, Logan and Warren) in the Central District pool.
Usually the top of the Division 1 boys’ zone scoreboard is close, and the third- and fourth-place team often misses the state by a few hits. In 2020, Olentangy Orange (298), Jerome (302) stopped St Charles (303) and Liberty (304) for applying to the state.
Last fall, Kaufman (294) and Jerome (295) were ahead of Liberty (297) and St. Charles (300).
“It’s been a long time coming, and I think we’re all happy with that,” St Charles coach Brian Onk said. “Over the past two years we have been filming results that have always come out in the past. It is a tough (area) tournament and that helps us some.”
The east/southeast section was played at Cambridge Country Club, and the area was at EagleSticks.
If a fourth division is added to the central district, the four will send four squads and four personnel to the district.
“I think we will go from pairs from threes to fours (if the district championship goes from 12 to 16 teams),” said Onk. “We have to see if this passes first.”