Sunday, October 17

    Blue Devils win sectional title

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    After graduating three of its top golfers from last year’s state-qualifying team, Independence had a lot of growing up to do this season if it intended to keep alive its seven-year streak of advancing to the district tournament.

    On Monday at the Division II sectional golf tournament at Punderson Golf Course in Newbury, the Blue Devils proved what they were capable of in winning the program’s fourth sectional title since its founding in 2014.

    “We talked about it at the beginning of the year, just finding our way and continuing the Independence tradition of solid golf, which they have done,” said Independence coach Karl Schuld. “I really thought going into sectionals that beating Hawken would be a tall, tall order because they’re a very talented team and we went toe-to-toe with them.”

    Independence and Hawken both finished with 364 strokes. The tie was broken by using each team’s fifth scorer. Only four Hawken players competed, leaving Independence as the sectional champion.

    Molly McGreal led the team with an 85, good for sixth place overall. Emma Konopa finished tied for 11th place with a 90, Macey McGhee carded a 92, and Kate Coljohn shot a 97. Hillary Esper shot a 103 to provide the Blue Devils with the decisive fifth score.

    “I’ve got a team this year where everything kind of has to go right because there isn’t a lot of margin for error, but we’re putting up scores that are very similar to last year,” Schuld said. “Kate Coljohn has come out of nowhere. She’s been playing really well. Macey had a great day too. I think the kids learned some things today. It’s really about building for next week and beyond. If we can get to Columbus, I think it would be an invaluable experience for them for next year.”

    The Blue Devils advanced to the district tournament at Sable Creek for the eighth straight season and they have played in the district tournament every year since the program was founded.

    Independence has qualified for the state tournament three times, including in 2016 when they finished as the Division II state runner-up and in 2017 when they won the state title. Last fall, the Blue Devils placed fifth at the state tournament.

    When it comes to his relatively youthful team this season, Schuld is confident the Blue Devils have the ability to return to Columbus.

    “Our mantra has always been to just get there and see what happens when you get there,” Schuld said. “We’re going to go out next week and do the best we can and see what happens. I think the girls are well-prepared. They’ve been on a lot of golf courses. Sable Creek is very tough and difficult, but it’s tough and difficult for everybody. We just have to go out and save as many shots as we can and see where it falls.”


    1. Independence* 364 (Molly McGreal 85, Emma Konopa 90, Hillary Esper 103, Kate Coljohn 97, Macey McGhee 92); 2. Hawken* 364 (Ella Wong 78, Kate Petersen 80, Juliana Pollard 87, Helena Yanchar DNS, Marissa Grossberg 119); 3. Southeast* 371 (Alaina Goldstein 92, Gracie Westover 86, Taylor Blazek 93, Skylar Werschey 100, Lexi Morris 124); 4. Laurel* 395 (Siena Maschke 83, Riley Nowak 98, Jade Gladue 99, Liliana Embrescia 115, 0); 5. Perry 401; 6. Luth. West 418; 7. Beaumont 421; 8. Edgewood 428; 9. Cuy. Heights 459; 10. Gilmour Academy 465; 11. Garfield 469; 12. Orange 472; 13. Berkshire 476; 14. CVCA 516; 15. Bristol 531; 16. Lake Catholic 541; 17. Cardinal 0; 18. Holy Name 0; 19. Ravenna 0; 20. Rootstown 0; 21. VASJ 0; 22. Wickliffe 0;

    Individual Scores: * Indicates qualifying individual.

    1. Ella Wong(Hawken) 78, Abbie Retherford(Ravenna) 78; 3. Kate Petersen(Hawken) 80; 4. Siena Maschke(Laurel) 83; 5. Lauren Bangasser(Beaumont) 84; 6. Molly McGreal(Independence) 85; 7. Gracie Westover(Southeast) 86; 8. Juliana Pollard(Hawken) 87; 9. Emily Capitosti(Perry) 89, Samantha Turk(VASJ) 89; 11. Kaci Kanicki(Edgewood) 90, Emma Konopa(Independence) 90, Callie Wabeke(Luth. West) 90; 14. Macey McGhee(Independence) 92, Alaina Goldstein(Southeast) 92; 16. Taylor Blazek(Southeast) 93; 17. Kerry Kelly(Orange) 96; 18. Kate Coljohn(Independence) 97; 19. Taylor Racut(Edgewood) 98, Samantha Pryzbyzs(Holy Name) 98, Riley Nowak(Laurel) 98, Julia Colton(Luth. West) 98; 23. Sophia Vitantonio(Beaumont) 99, Jade Gladue(Laurel) 99; 25. Skylar Werschey(Southeast) 100; 26. Avery Vencill(Edgewood) 101; 27. Theresa Lazanich(Lake Catholic) 102, Addy Trefzger(Perry) 102; 29. Shai Moore(Cuy. Heights) 103, Hillary Esper(Independence) 103, Ashley Anderson(Perry) 103, Audrey Francis(Rootstown) 103; 33. Ava Huebner(Rootstown) 104; 34. Marissa White(Garfield) 107, Emma Pietrzak(Perry) 107; 36. Madison Woconish(Garfield) 110; 37. Athena Stute(Berkshire) 111, Lauryn Wilson(Cuy. Heights) 111; 39. Morgan Joy(CVCA) 113, Vija Tessman(Gilmour Academy) 113, Tessa Kemelhar(Orange) 113; 42. Liliana Covetta(Wickliffe) 114; 43. Demi Tsonton(Cuy. Heights) 115, Gia Parker(Gilmour Academy) 115, Liliana Embrescia(Laurel) 115, Ella Walden(Luth. West) 115, Marin Roshkowski(Luth. West) 115; 48. Claire Stergar(Beaumont) 116; 49. Aurora Martin(Berkshire) 117; 50. Kelsey Hearns(Gilmour Academy) 118; 51. Addison Williams(Bristol) 119, Maddie Fitzpatrick(Gilmour Academy) 119, Riley Beiswenger(Gilmour Academy) 119, Marissa Grossberg(Hawken) 119; 55. Hope Zagar(Berkshire) 121, Olivia Siefrick(Perry) 121; 57. Claire Brazalovics(Beaumont) 122, Riley Berry(Bristol) 122, Allie Blasko(Cardinal) 122; 60. Grace Scirocco(Garfield) 123; 61. Taylor Kern(Lake Catholic) 124, Lexi Morris(Southeast) 124; 63. Jenna Osborn(Cardinal) 125; 64. Rachel Weygandt(CVCA) 126, Emma Collins(Luth. West) 126; 66. Brooke Ruchalski(Berkshire) 127, Abby Smith-Richards(Ravenna) 127; 68. Rachel Evans(Garfield) 129, Kylie Leska(Orange) 129; 70. Sophia Laudato(Berkshire) 130, Anna Patterson(Cuy. Heights) 130; 72. Annie Koppitch(Beaumont) 133; 73. Ronetta Bell-Moore(Orange) 134; 74. Elise Gorsuch(CVCA) 138; 75. Sydnee Vondrasek(Bristol) 139, Sarah Avery(CVCA) 139, Emma Hart-Wood(Edgewood) 139; 78. Kayla Calvey(Lake Catholic) 141; 79. Alyssa Simunek(Cuy. Heights) 148; 80. Hannah Lux(CVCA) 150; 81. Samantha Mansfield(Bristol) 151; 82. Alex Ataman(Garfield) 172; 83. Nicole Pappas(Lake Catholic) 174; 84. Helena Yanchar(Hawken) DNS, Emily Borchert(Holy Name) DNS, Samantha Jenkins(Holy Name) DNS;
    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. 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.


    Bianco leads Independence past rival Cuyahoga Heights

    Carson Bianco shot a career-low 35 to lead Independence to a 174-216 win over rival Cuyahoga Heights at Shawnee Hills Golf Course on Wednesday.

    Cardinal edges Wickliffe