Brookfield sophomore Stevens finishes third; Warriors are fifth
By Tom Williams
In repeating as Division III state golf champion, Columbiana’s Jared Wilson said he didn’t know how far in front of the field he was until his final putt.
After retrieving his ball, Wilson looked up to see his supporters giving thumbs-up signals at Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course in Columbus.
“Coming down the stretch, I had no idea,” said Wilson, who was playing Saturday with Gilmour Academy’s Tucker Morris, the golfer who trailed Wilson by one stroke after the first round. “It felt good, I couldn’t ask for a better finish.
“It was special coming back [to state].”
With 141, Wilson knew he was way ahead of Morris who finished fourth, eight strokes behind. He quickly learned that he finished five strokes ahead of Southeastern’s Avery Green. Brookfield sophomore Conner Stevens finished third, six strokes back.
“I’m very proud of him,” Brookfield golf coach Larry Smoot said. “I won’t say he exceeded my expectations.”
After the first round, Stevens was four strokes behind Wilson’s 69. Stevens recorded six birdies on Friday and recorded four more on Saturday.
Approaching the 18th green, Stevens said he figured he had a chance at a top-five finish.
“Jared is such a great player, congratulations to him,” said Stevens, who is optimistic since the two players ahead of him Saturday are seniors “Hopefully, I will be able to get back for a better finish. This was exciting.”
Wilson’s second-round score was 72.
“I did everything well,” Wilson said. “My driver [delivered], I had good approach shots, my chipping and putting [were on].”
Wilson’s prep career ends with four trips to state and two championships. His work in the classroom is just as impressive.
His grade-point average is 4.43. When he took the ACT as a freshman, he scored 35. (He admits he took it again a couple of more times, but did not match his first attempt.)
Next fall, he’ll test his academic and golf skills at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.
“I love the location — great weather and combination of academics and top-ranked golf team,” he said.
Stevens also competed in last year’s tournament. He said the Scarlet and NorthStar courses are different.
“At Scarlet, everything is right in front of you,” he said. “NorthStar, you can’t see anything off the tee.”
Brookfield finished fifth with 656. Worthington Christian won with 623.
The other Warriors and their scores are: Nate Smoot, 163; Justin Atkinson, 164; Jake Shingledecker, 185; and Jon Hiner, 186. Smoot is the only senior.
In his third trip to state, Warren JFK’s Jimmy Graham finished tied for 27th with a 164.
At NorthStar, Ursuline finished 10th (684) and Poland 12th (725).
Drew Murphy led the Irish with a 167 to tie for 43rd. Other scores were: Carl Ross, 169; Colin Faloon, 172; Seamus Chrystal, 179; and Alex Stoneman, 181.
Alex Rapp led the Bulldogs with 172. Other scores are: Jake Snyder, 175; Zach Howard, 187; Luke Nord, 194; and Kyle Koziel, 201.