Two weeks into the fall season and Harvey’s boys’ golf team already has established itself as the feel-good program of the 2018 season.
The Red Raiders, who won 12 matches last season, defeated Chagrin Valley Conference rival West Geauga on Wednesday, 182-188, to improve to 5-0 on the year and 1-0 in league play.
“We were amazingly pleased,” said Harvey coach Scott Cummings. “My team has been playing better but we weren’t really sure if we were going to win today but we ended up pulling out the win. They have a lot of confidence, we were 4-0 coming in, but we weren’t sure if we’d be able to do it tonight but we had a nice night by the team.”
Cummings and the Red Raiders never doubted they had the ability to beat the Wolverines but in the past, the team wasn’t able to play with the level of consistency needed to win big matches.
Moving up the Chagrin Division this fall didn’t help matters but this team is unlike any other Cummings has coached at Harvey.
“For the first time in a long time we have a legitimate golf team,” Cummings said. “We can’t compete with some of the schools in our league with what they have to offer, especially now that we’re on the big school side, but it’s good to see the kids compete a little bit. It’s very rewarding as a coach and they’re letting themselves be coached, which is good.”
The success last season helped pave the way for the strong start this fall.
Unlike in past years, Cummings hasn’t had to focus most of his coaching time on swing mechanics and putting. Instead, he has worked with his players on managing the course and proper shot selection.
“We’re to a point with the kids where the ball striking is there,” Cummings said. “Now we’re working on course management and it’s paying dividends because when they concentrate they can see what happens.”
Sophomore Connor Hedrick is a perfect example.
He shot a career-best 38 on the par 35 course at Fowler’s Mill to win medalist honors against the Wolverines. It was the fifth straight time he shot a match-low.
“He’s been the medalist in all five of our matches,” Cummings said. “He made a huge jump from his freshman year because he’s playing a lot outside of school, which is what you need to do. He would play nine or 18 holes before each practice or after and he was on the Northcoast tour, which probably helped him out a lot. The more you play, the better you get. It’s amazing how that works.”
Dylan Tuckey finished with a 45 and Braden Fisher carded a 47 for the Red Raiders. Avery Anderson rounded out the scoring with a 52.
“Braden Fisher has been co-medalist with Connor in three matches, so that’s good,” Cummings said. “Dylan Tuckey is a baseball player, a natural athlete who does well with golf, and Avery is getting there. He’s where Connor was last year, so he’s getting better.”
Ruslan Abakumuv led the Wolverines with a 43. Mason Kirchner shot a 44, Armen Maksoudian came in with a 49 and Alex Lavin shot a 52 to close out the scoring for West Geauga.