Thursday, September 16, 2021

Experienced Eagles optimistic entering new season

Geneva coach John Mansky can’t help but feel a bit optimistic heading into the 2021 season.

The Eagles return a solid core group of players who are both talented and experienced. While Geneva will have several new starters, Mansky is confident his new players will fit right in with the experienced group.

“I feel pretty good about the season,” Mansky said. “We’ve had a good run with our seniors. I hope they’ll continue to improve. We’ll have three new starters on varsity that will need to perform to keep our run of success.”

The burden of maintaining that success falls squarely on the shoulders of Geneva’s senior leaders Ayden Richmond, Kole Oplako, and Hunter Metz.

Richmond and Oplako both are in their fourth seasons on the varsity squad while Metz is in his third.

Last fall, Richmond advanced to the district tournament and closed out his junior season with a 40-stroke average in nine-hole rounds and an average of 80 in 18-hole events.

He has worked hard this summer to position himself for a deeper run in the playoffs this season.

“Ayden has been working hard on his game and playing tournaments this summer,” Mansky said. “His hard work has been paying off with two Northeast Ohio Tour wins and one North Coast Tour win.”

Oplako also has put in the work in the offseason and Mansky is eager to see this senior take the next step.

“Kole loves pounding balls on the range,” Mansky said. “He’s come up big in key matches over his career. We’re going to need his performances to continue.”

Metz also will be counted on to play consistently this fall.

“Hunter’s even keel is a result of balancing fishing and golfing,” Mansky said. “He has been a solid player since he traded his football spikes for golf spikes.”

Junior Connor Anderson is the only other Eagle with varsity experience.

“Connor bounces between baseball and golf,” Mansky said. “He generates a lot of clubhead speed by playing multiple sports. We’ll be leaning on scores this season.”

Junior Max Booth and senior Parker Szabo will make their varsity debuts this fall.

“Max is an up-and-comer on varsity and we’ll need him to continue our good fortune. He’s a great kid that is easy to coach,” Mansky said. “Parker has developed a nice short game that he can depend on. He’s been a good student to work with over his career.”

Juniors Noah Griffiths and Richie Griffin will provide the Eagles with depth.

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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