Golf Edges Kiski in Classic

Sunday, September 26, 2021
The Blue Storm with the Centennial Cup following the match

In a battle of unbeaten squads, Mercersburg’s golf team picked up an impressive two-stroke win (310-312) over Kiski September 25 at Ligonier Country Club in Ligonier, PA. The match was part of the yearlong multisport Centennial Cup competition between the schools.

Kiski is in the middle of an outstanding season and headed into the match undefeated on the heels of one of the program’s greatest wins in the WCCA Championship earlier this month. Meanwhile, the Blue Storm also had yet to lose this season, and had lofty expectations for the confrontation.  Something had to give and the match did not disappoint.

The Blue Storm had some trouble adjusting to the speed and slope of the greens on the front 9 and stumbled out of the block. At the turn, the match was tight but excellent play from the Cougars had them in front by three strokes. The Storm then set out to claw back, hole by hole. Argyle Downes ’23 caught fire and did not record a score over 4 on any of the final 11 holes. He fired a 35 on the back nine to finish with a 74 for the Storm’s top finish.

Playing partner Josh Pethel ’22 came in right behind him with a very nice 75, and these two gave the team the scores at the top to compete—because in their group, Kiski’s Alberto Calafata was the medalist with a sparkling 71.

Entering the 13th hole, Kiski’s lead was still three strokes, and then the rain started. The Blue Storm (aptly named) flourished in the weather and made a charge, led by team captain Kenneth Yonke ’22. The top four scorers collectively played the final four holes at a combined 2-over, and as soon as the umbrellas went up, Yonke made five consecutive pars to finish with a 79 on the day. As Jason Jones ’24 finished out the 18th, the result of the match hung in the balance until his final score of 82 went up—giving Mercersburg the two-stroke victory.

“This was truly a great victory for this team,” Mercersburg head coach Doug Smith said. “Going up against a team that has to be one of favorites for the state championship and coming out with a win feels tremendous for this team. We have faced very stiff competition in adverse conditions and excelled, but even with that, this team has more left in the tank.”

Mercersburg (3-0 in head-to-head matches) has some time off before returning to competitive action Saturday, October 9, at home against McConnellsburg at Chambersburg Country Club.

“This two-week break before our next match comes at a great time, and we are going to do our best to improve on this tremendous start to the season,” added Smith.