Norton golfers facing Coventry in league battle showdown
By Jeff Gorman
GREEN — The Norton High School boys golf team is set to take on Coventry High School Sept. 13 at 3:45 p.m. at Turkeyfoot Lake Golf Course in Green.
Norton has a 3-7 record in the Portage Trail Conference (PTC) and overall. However, the Panthers have fallen just short of victory several times. This is both frustrating and encouraging, said Norton coach Rod Swartz.
“We’ve lost twice by two strokes, once by one stroke and once by seven strokes,” said Swartz. “We have some new kids who have had good rounds, but they’ll have one bad hole that will balloon their score.
“We would be in a tie for first if those four close games were reversed,” he added. “Our kids realize we have a chance to compete and beat some teams.”
Junior Dan Fearer has emerged as one of Norton’s leaders. “He played in a lot of junior events in Northeast Ohio over the summer,” said Swartz. “I think some of our other players realize they needed to play more in the summer, and that may have led to a slow start.
“Shawn McMullen is a senior who has also stepped up for us,” he added. “Adam Friend, another senior, has shot some of his best rounds lately. Mitch Grubb, a junior, just shot a 40. So the signs are there that we’re coming along. We’re eager to show we can compete with the other teams in the league.”
Coventry’s boys team is in the middle of a PTC title chase. To keep pace, the Comets need a home victory over Norton.
Coventry has a 7-3 record in the PTC and overall. The team also placed 10th at both the Tillapaw Classic and the Rover Invitational in Rootstown.
Three seniors lead the Coventry team. Nick Marchette is the returning PTC Player of the Year. Andy Minno was a first-team All-PTC selection, while Jack Bisesi earned honorable mention.
Rounding out Coventry’s varsity team are senior Steve Perona, junior Josh Sasinouski and freshman Zack Haag.
Coventry coach Dan Karp said the PTC features a host of competitive teams.
“Kent Roosevelt is really good,” he said. “Kent is the defending regular-season champion, and Ravenna is the defending conference champion.
“After them, you have us, Field, Springfield and Crestwood [high schools],” Karp added. “Any one of those teams can win at any time. Norton has pulled off a few upsets as well.”
The Comets finished 12th in a tough sectional last year. Only three teams and individuals advanced to the district.
“I hope this year we can get out of the sectional as a team and with a couple of individuals,” said Karp. “I also hope we can win the conference title. We have a legitimate shot with the seniors and supporting cast we have.”