By RYAN VANDERSLOOT
THOMASVILLE — Most superstitious teams will tell you that when things are going good, they don’t want to change a thing.
And the one thing that has been helping the York Catholic golf team in the postseason is a victory dinner at the pizza restaurant that sits right next to Briarwood East Golf Course.
So the Irish were hoping to again binge on subs, sodas and pizzas after Tuesday’s District 3 Team Golf Championships at Briarwood.
Nick Geiman, the two-time defending York-Adams League champion, and the trio of Ryan DePorter, Joe Parrini and Andrew Forjan made sure that the Irish would end their day with full stomachs. Geiman shot a 2-under 70, while DePorter, Parrini and Forjan each shot under 80 to lift the York-Adams League champs to the District 3-AA title with a total score of 297. Berks Catholic finished second with a 309, while Lancaster Catholic was third with a 318.
While the Irish were celebrating their triumph, the Central York golf team had mixed emotions. The Panthers, who shot a team total of 308 a week ago in the league team championships, improved to 303 in the Class AAA competition. Unfortunately for the Division I champs, perennial Lancaster-Lebanon League champion Manheim Township claimed its fourth district title in a row after carding a team total of 292.
The York Catholic golfers have been seeking the triple crown this season — the league, district and state team titles. So it’s two down and one to go.
“We can’t stop now,” DePorter joked afterwards. “We’re not done yet, that’s for sure.”
DePorter, who shot an 85 a week ago in the league team tournament, scored a markedly better 78 on Tuesday. Lauren Parrini bailed out her fellow senior last week with an 80 to help the team take the league crown. This week the roles were reversed.
“That’s the great thing about this team,” DePorter said. “Last week I didn’t play very well, but Lauren was there to pick up my slack. And today wasn’t her day, but Andrew and I were there, a 76 for him and a 78 for me.”
Lauren Parrini finished with a 86.
Experience at Briarwood helped: The experience gained from playing in two competitive tournaments at Briarwood a week ago — the York-Adams League team and individual tournaments — certainly aided DePorter’s short game. A week ago, he had some trouble finishing, but improved greatly on that Tuesday.
“I got up and down a lot today,” he said. “It’s all about the short game. When I shoot those low-to-mid 80s, it’s because the short game wasn’t there. But today it was.”
The victory clinched York Catholic a trip the PIAA Class AA team and individual championships in a little under three weeks from now at Heritage Hills Golf Resort. A state title has been a goal for DePorter and his teammates since the season began in August.
“We work so well together,” DePorter said. “And we’ve got Nick and Joe, who you don’t have to worry about. And Joe is just a freshman and he’s really stepped up when Matt McKim graduated and really filled that spot and putting up some good scores. And I think that we can carry this through to states.”
Getting advice from Bankos: While winning a state title is certainly a lofty goal, especially considering that no York-Adams League team has ever made the PIAA tournament, Irish coach William Brander doesn’t want his team to get too far ahead of itself. Brander, in fact, sought out the advice of another York Catholic coach who has a lot more experience at the state tournament for some advice.
“I talked to Coach (Kevin) Bankos, who’s won a couple state championships in (girls’) basketball at York Catholic, and he said ‘just make sure you write one chapter at a time, don’t jump ahead to the end of the book.’ And that’s what I said to them. It’s OK that they have that goal, but they had to win here to even get a chance to get there,” Brander said.
DePorter, however, strayed a bit away from Brander’s message when asked what he and his teammates would do to celebrate if they won the state crown.
“We will probably have to come back out here to Palumbo’s if we win,” DePorter said. “We might have to.”
Class AAA: Central gave Manheim Township a run for its money. The Panthers’ top four golfers Tuesday each shot under 80. Connor Bacha and Matt Bricker each shot 74s, while Julianne Lee carded a 76 and Mitch Marino tallied a 79.
Much like DePorter, Bricker’s score on Tuesday was markedly better than the one he posted a week ago when he shot an 87.
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.