Golfers miss regional cut
For the first time in history District 11 crowned four champion golfers this season.
Monday, the first district tournament was conducted in which the field was broken up into classes, 2A and 3A for both boys and girls.
Bethlehem Catholic's Nick Maff won this year's boys Class 3A title, while Wilson's Collin Hagenbuch won the 2A crown.
In the girls tournament, Freedom's Helen Hsu took first place in 3A while Central Catholic's Franca Hurtado won Class 2A.
Maff, a freshman who started his rookie high school season with a win at the August 20 Owen McCall Tournament at Green Pond, played the best round of his competitive career Monday over 27 holes at Shawnee Golf Course.
He carded a district record four-under par. The previous district record was set in a 36-hole event by Emmaus' Steve Bourbon in 1990.
"I just played solid golf," said Maff. "I hit a lot of greens. I was pretty much just hitting greens and two putting for par."
Two Salisbury players competed in the Class 2A boys tournament.
Luke Chassard came three shots from qualifying for regionals with a 127. After shooting 41-36 on his first 18 holes, Chassard was within reach of a regional berth. But his final nine 50 dropped him four places out of the top six.
Falcon teammate Connor Forsyth also played in districts. He shot 156 (50-54-52).
Maff won the Class 3A tournament by a comfortable margin. He finished three strokes better than second-place finisher Evan Notaro of Northampton.
Maff got a few strokes under par early and knew he was probably leading the tournament. He handled the pressure like a season veteran.
"I got some nerves," said Maff. "I just wanted to par out and not make any stupid mistakes."
Maff birdied the first hole of Monday's tournament, but got back to even with a bogey on No. 2. He took the lead with five birdies and a bogey over seven holes (Nos. 5-11) to get to four under par.
He knew he had to keep it steady the rest of the way. He made seven straight pars to finish his first 18 at 68.
He made a birdie and two bogeys on the first four holes of his final nine, but reeled off four pars and a birdie to finish at 104 (34-34-36).
Maff hit 20 of 27 greens in regulation, but got up and down for par five times while three-putting just once.
Maff and the other top six boys players in each class move on to the PIAA Eastern Regional Tournament Tuesday at Golden Oaks Golf Course in Fleetwood.
Hsu shot 15-over par Monday at 126 (43-42-41). She made one birdie, 12 pars, 12 bogeys and two double bogeys. She played consistent golf, which has been the key to a season in which she dropped her scoring average seven strokes from last year.
District 11 Golf Championship Results
Top four earn medals; top six move on to regional
1. Nick Maff (Bethlehem Catholic) 104, 2. Evan Notaro (Northampton) 107, 3. Chad Hess (Parkland) 110, 4. Kevin Kunkle (Northampton) 111, 5. Carter Test (Northampton) 114, 6. Bret Howey (Nazareth) 115.
1. Collin Hagenbuch (Wilson) *108 won on fourth playoff hole, 2. Cole Miller (Northwestern) 108, 3. Eamon Marone 113, 4. Nick Vecellio (Northwestern) 117, 5. Michael Weinert (Tamaqua) 121, 6. Kyle Buchman (Notre Dame GP) 123.
Top four earn medals
1. Helen Hsu (Freedom) 126, 2. Kelsey Patterson (Emmaus) 135, 3. Loran Pritchard (Whitehall) 139, 4. tie Kiran Signh (Bethlehem Catholic), Emily Unrue (Easton) 142.
1. Franca Hurtado (Central Catholic) 126, 2. Justin Paul (North Schuylkill) 134, 3. Emily Rodgers (Central Catholic) 162, 4. Samantha Firestone (Pen Argyl) 167.
Girls Regional qualifiers
Hsu, Patterson, Unrue.
Hurtado, Paul, Rodgers.