The Jackson High girls golf team competed nine consecutive years in the state tournament through 2016.   Although the Polar Bears ended their impressive streak in 2017, a very young Jackson team consisting of three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior emerged in 2018 to contend for a state title.

Even head coach Teal Harvey mentioned in the Jackson Suburbanite that when vying for a championship in Columbus ‘taking a team with three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior in the lineup is difficult to do.’ 

Sectional Tournament

Of course, to compete in the state championship, a team must qualify at the sectional tournament first, which was played at The Elms Country Club of Massillon on Wednesday, October 3. The top four teams and four individuals not on a qualifying team advance to the district tournament. 

The GlenOak Golden Eagles enjoyed their very first Division I sectional title in school history by shooting 322. They were led by senior Jessica Hahn’s 72, sharing co-medalist honors with Copley Indians senior Sophia Canale, and a career low score from junior Faith Brown of 78. The Hoover Vikings team won second place with 338 led by senior Madison Ardelean's 75. The Jackson Polar Bears won third place with 341 led by sophomore Anastasia Nikolaidis' 83. The Copley Indians team finished fourth, shooting 358, led by co-medalist Sophia Canale's 72. 

Division I District Tournament 

The Division I district tournament was played on Tuesday, October 9, at The Legends of Massillon on the East and South courses. The Jackson girls golf team, who also happened to be the youngest team, shot 317 to win the Division I district title. It turned out to be a great day for the Federal League. GlenOak came in second (328) and Hoover finished third (338) with both earning berths to compete in the state tournament. Hoover senior Madison Ardelean’s birdie on her final hole helped clinch first place individually, earning her medalist honors with 74.

A note of interest though is that the Jackson girls finished third behind GlenOak and Hoover in the league and also at the sectional tournament. The Polar Bears’ 317 is a season low by 14 shots.

Their youth served them well as they entered the district tournament with a no pressure attitude, enabling freshman Savanna Porter to lead the Polar Bears with 78, freshman Avery Wright and junior Sydney Scibetta both firing 79s and sophomore Anastasia Nikolaidis finished with 81 to round out the scoring.

Madison Reemsnyder, another top freshman in Stark County, shot 75 to help GlenOak reach the state tournament for the third time in four years. Jessica Hahn advanced to the state tournament qualifying as an individual for her fourth time and also playing on her team for the third time in four years at state. She shot 76 and finished in a three-way tie for fifth place in her final district tournament.

Division I State Tournament

The state tournament was played Friday and Saturday, October 19-20, on the Gray Course of The Ohio State University. Twenty-four teams and seventy-two players qualified to play in the state tournament on the par 70, 5,560 yard Gray Course. Coincidentally, the Jackson boys golf team was also vying for a state title on the Scarlet Course, which has happened only one other time where both teams made it to state at the same time. 

The Polar Bears got off to a good start the first day, shooting 328, following with 334 (662) on the second. Sophomore Anastasia Nikolaidis shot a team low 80 in the first round followed by a 5-over-par 75 on day two. Freshman Abrielle Nikolaidis also improved her score from the first to the second round from 94 on Friday to 88 on Saturday. All shooting in the 80s both days were Avery Wright (166), Savanna Porter (167), both freshmen, and junior Sydney Scibetta (174). The Polar Bears finished sixth behind champion New Albany (592), Olentangy Orange (618), Centerville (624), Ashland (642) and just two shots behind fifth place Lakota East (660).

By the way, the Jackson boys team finished fifth in the tournament, just eight shots out of third place.  

The Hoover Vikings team tied for seventh place with 675. Madison Ardelean earned All-Ohio honors by finishing tied for eighth place with 148. Sophomores Grace May (167), Mattie Muckleroy (171), senior Emily Czubaj (189) and freshman Campbell Young (203) rounded out the scoring for Hoover.

GlenOak Golden Eagles finished ninth with 681. Jessica Hahn finished in a three-way tie for 15th place with 155. Freshman Madison Reemsnyder (157), sophomore Lauren Petro (181), junior Faith Brown (189) and senior Tina Athans (192) rounded out the scoring for GlenOak. The score on the OHSAA website was shown as 681. Just another little note though, when adding the four lowest scores, the total added up to 682.

Division II Tournaments

The Division II sectional tournament was played at Carroll Meadows. Minerva Lion Jordan Van Meter (junior) took home medalist honors with 37 on the front nine, followed with 33 on the back for a 1-under-par 70, winning the sectional title by 3 strokes. Her school-record score qualified the Lady Lions for a fifth place finish to the district tournament.

Jordan finished second, shooting 77, at the Division II district tournament at Cambridge Country Club, winning the lone individual qualifying spot to the state tournament. This was Jordan’s third straight year to qualify for the state tournament to be played at The Ohio State University’s Gray Course on Friday and Saturday, October 12-13.  

Jordan started in 13th place on a brisk Saturday but ended the day with a 4-over-par 74, five strokes fewer than on Friday. Finishing in seventh place overall earned Jordan All-Ohio honors. She was eleventh as a freshman and eighth as a sophomore at the state tournament.

Lima Central Catholic won first place honors in the Division II state tournament with 652. 

Scholarship Winner

Following our Team Tournament luncheon, Hoover High graduate Alexis Green was presented with our Betty Kerby Peppard Scholarship in the amount of $500. Alexis graduated with a Summa Cum Laude GPA of 4.351. She has expressed an interest in pursuing a degree in business, possibly accounting and communications. She is attending and playing golf for Walsh University.

Just a little golf background on Alexis. She tried out for Hoover’s golf team her freshman year. Only after practicing two weeks before tryouts, she made the team, playing varsity most of the year. Alexis started out shooting between 50 and 60 for 9 and between 100 and 110 for 18 holes. Her goal her senior year was to make it to the state tournament. A goal that was accomplished—the Hoover girls team finished sixth in 2017.

She was the lead player on her team, shooting in the 30s for 9 and 70s for 18 holes. Quite a progression from her freshman year.

We extend our best wishes to Alexis in the pursuit of her degree and continued success golfing for the Walsh Cavaliers. 

Junior Girls Golf
 by Loretta Gerber