Saturday, March 25, 2023

Independence collects big win at Berkshire

CHARDON—Independence opened league play with a convincing 163-180 win over Berkshire on Wednesday at Pleasant Hills Golf Course.

Tyler Wilson led the Blue Devils with a match low 35 and Nick Brunsman added a 39. Joey Rydzinski and Bobby Roddy came up big for Independence with a 43 and 51, respectively.

“Over the years we’ve had a hard time beating Berkshire, so it was nice being able to beat them,” said Independence coach Mark Echstenkamper. “163 is a great score on a course our guys aren’t used to playing, so I was very happy.”

Wilson had an up and down round. He finished with four birdies, three bogies and two pars. Brunsman played as consistently as he has all season. It was the efforts of Rydzinski and Roddy that surprised their coach.

“Tyler putting up a one under par 35 was an outstanding round and Nick was right there with him with a 39,” Echstenkamper said. “I was really happy to see Joey Rydzinski come up with a 43. That was a great round by him.”

A senior, Rydzinski finally reaped the rewards of his hard work throughout his high school career.

“That has to be his best round,” Echstenkamper said. “He’s improved every year. He’s a senior that has improved every year. That goes to show what perseverance and hard work do for you. He was just staying within himself and not trying to do too much. That was a great round.”

Roddy recovered from a disastrous start to the round that resulted in a 10 and an 8 on the first two holes.

“Giving up 18 strokes on the first two holes and then being able to regroup, that shows a lot mentally being able to get over some bad holes and refocusing,” Echstenkamper said. “I’m happy he was able to refocus.”

Independence improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in league play. The Blue Devils have another key conference match next Monday against Kirtland.

“In our league right now we’ve got Berkshire, Hawken, Kirtland and us, we’re the top four teams,” Echstenkamper said. “This was just one hurdle we got over. Next Monday we’ve got Kirtland. That’s going to be a big match. We’ll see what we can do.”


Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, 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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