MADISON—Cardinal’s young golf team might not be ready to challenge the Chagrin Valley Conference’s top teams but the Huskies proved they’re getting closer.
Behind Danny Knippenberg’s 91 and a solid 98 by Tyler Carroll the Huskies finished fifth in the Valley Division at the 2015 Chagrin Valley Conference preseason tournament on Thursday at Powderhorn Golf Club.
Hawken won the tournament with a score of 346. Kirtland (352), Berkshire (363) and Independence (365) all finished above Cardinal (411). Cuyahoga Heights (422) and Harvey (531) rounded out the field.
“Overall, as far as where we’re at in the division, it was kind of what I expected,” said Cardinal coach Greg McCandless. “The top four teams there that finished ahead of us, I kind of expected those four at the top and then there’s a pretty significant gap there. Overall I thought we played pretty well. We’ve got some new faces this year and we’re just lacking the depth and talent to compete with the top four teams but the kids played pretty well. For a lot of them that was their first time playing that course and if you haven’t played it before it was a definite disadvantage.”
Knippenberg had his moments on Thursday.
He drained a long putt on No. 10 to save par and his consistent play was a sign he put behind him the struggles he encountered last season.
“I was really happy to see that because he had a tough end to the year last year,” McCandless said. “He had some issues with his swing and was really struggling. He really turned the page this year with the scrimmage we had and the event (on Thursday). He hit the ball really, really well. Of course he left a few strokes out there on the greens but I’m really happy with him. He’s a solid senior leader. The season looks good for him.”
Carroll was one of just 19 golfers to break 100 on the day.
“Tyler and Danny, those two I know what I’m getting from them,” McCandless said. “They’re good players. They’re steady and pretty consistent. Tyler didn’t have his best day but those two I can count on. I know what I’m going to get from them. Tyler’s golf game fits his personality. He’s just quiet and steady. He doesn’t get too up or too down.”
McCandless also was impressed by the debut performance of sophomore Virginia Travers, the only girl entered in the tournament.
Travers carded a 112 to finish as Cardinal’s fourth scorer.
“That was her first varsity competition,” McCandless said. “I know she had some nerves going, especially early in the day, but I thought she proved that she belonged right in there with these guys. I was happy for her. She’s a nice addition to the team and she has a bright future ahead of her.”
Geno Argento (110), Joe Callison (129) and Alex Almy (139) also competed for the Huskies, who travel to the Berkshire Invitational at Pleasant Hills Golf Course on Tuesday.