Pillar and Trout capture two of the four spots available
Yet another historic season continued this week for the Wallenpaupack Area boys varsity golf team.
Two Buckhorns qualified for this year's edition of the District Two individual tournament and made the most of the opportunity.
Alex Pillar dominated the event, which was held at Fox Hill Country Club on Monday. The talented junior overcame a shaky start to finish first in the overall standings.
Nate Trout was every bit as impressive. Paupack's lone senior won the pre-district tourney outright, then finished in fourth place at Fox Hill.
Both Pillar and Trout will now advance to the Eastern Regional Tournament.
“This is definitely a pleasant surprise,” said Hall of Fame Coach Bob Simons. “I would argue that qualifying for regionals in golf is tougher than any other sport. There are only four spots and for us to come away with two of them is pretty amazing.”
Regionals will be hosted by Golden Oaks Golf Club in Fleetwood. The event is set for Monday, Oct. 16.
“It's one of the most challenging courses we see all year long,” said Coach Simons. “But, I think both boys have a realistic chance of moving on.
On the Course
Pillar has enjoyed a stellar career at Paupack and came into this year's district tournament with one goal in mind: winning.
Alex shot 77 last year, finishing in a four-way tie for runner-up status. This year, he arrived on the scene determined to capture the gold medal.
Surprisingly, Pillar struggled early on and found himself 2-over par through three holes.
“Our target score was 76, so things got interesting pretty quickly,” said Coach Simons. “Alex was behind the eight ball right off the bat, but he really responded well. He played great golf after that.”
Pillar sizzled the rest of the way. Alex posted a score of 38 on the front nine and 37 on the back, winding up with a 75 for the 18-hole event and winning by three.
Crestwood's Shane Angle finished second with a 78, followed Ethan Zawatski of Dallas at 79.
Meanwhile, Trout found himself in a battle for the fourth and final Eastern Regional qualifying spot.
Nate played well on the front nine, posting a 37. However, Trout struggled mightily on the back and finished with a 44. Trout's 18-hole total of 81 left him in a tie with Troy Kelleher of Abington Heights.
This necessitated a sudden death playoff, which took the two golfers back to the first hole. Trout hooked his drive badly, but then executed an unforgettable second shot.
Nate sliced his approach to the par-4 around a tree, onto the green and within 20 feet of the flag. He then stepped up and calmly drained a birdie putt that punched his ticket to regionals.
“Nate showed a lot of poise,” Coach Simons said. “He kept his head and retained his composure. I'm very proud of him.”
Ready to Roll
Paupack put the finishing touches on another stellar Lackawanna League season with a win over Scranton.
The Buckhorns shook off a slow start and rallied to deal the Knights a 6-3 loss. With this victory, Coach Simons' lads closed out the regular season campaign with a 12-2-0 record.
“I think we were a little bit overconfident,” he said. “We may have been looking down the road to the Honesdale match, but it was a good lesson for the boys to learn.”
Pillar and Trout led the way once again.
Alex carded a round of 3-under par 33. He birdied holes one, six and nine en route to a 3&2 win over Scranton's Leslie Major.
Nate posted a 38 and notched a 2&1 decision over Devon Lynch.
Jack Mowatt contributed an individual match win, shooting a 41 and dealing Jared Foryshaz a 4&3 loss.
Evan Regenski split his match with Ed Keen, carding a round of 47.
Paupack advanced to the Lackawanna League play-offs and earned an opening round showdown with arch rival Honesdale.
The Bucks rose to the occasion once again, rolling to a 6-3 victory.
“This was a close match,” Coach Simons said. “They are a good young team and a couple of those individual matches could have goon either way. It was a very good win for us.”
Nick Hamer and Alex Davies delivered a pair of outstanding performances in this one.
Hamer, a battle-tested junior, shot a round of 40 and cruised to a 3&2 win over Aden Pietraszewski.
Just a sophomore, Davies played what Coach Simons called “his best round of the year.” Alex posted a 43 in delivering an eye-opening 1-up decision over Ben Williams.