The regular season has come to a conclusion for the Elizabethtown Area High School golf team, and the Bears can walk away from 2018 proud of their accomplishments. After two dismal years, head coach Dave Kline and his players have returned to relevance in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
Elizabethtown locked up a second-place finish in Section Two by the end of the final match before the postseason on Friday, Sept. 21, at Solanco’s home course, Tanglewood Manor Golf Club in Quarryville. The Bears (1911) finished in third place for the match itself with a team score of 376, barely getting beaten out by Ephrata (18-12) at 379, though they also bested Garden Spot (17-13, 391) to clinch the runner-up spot behind Warwick (30-0, 328), who completed a perfect season to win the section title.
For the first time this season, sophomore Alex Williams did not have the best score for Elizabethtown. He had a 91, hitting a birdie and five pars while shooting a 44 on the front nine and a 47 on the back. Instead, senior Connor Krisko led the Bears with an 88, tied for his best 18-hole round of the season. He shot 45 on the front and 43 on the back, finishing with 7 pars.
Junior Eric Gilbert added a 92, hitting a birdie and 3 pars. Elsewhere, senior Matt Pottgeiser (108), sophomore Westin Kolaric (109) and junior Will Schaffer (112) rounded out the roster. By taking second in the section, Elizabethtown earned its best regular season finish since 2014.
Williams, Krisko and Gilbert returned to action alongside freshman Jolene Markley on Monday, Sept. 24, at Conestoga Country Club in Lancaster for the L-L League Golf Championship, aiming to secure a spot in the District 3 Championship. The three boys had to finish in the top 20 among the competing Class 3A golfers, while Markley had to finish with a score of 104 or lower to move forward on the girls side.
Although not everyone qualified for districts, Elizabethtown did much better than last season’s league tournament, where the three participating Bears golfers all finished in the bottom 10. This time around, Williams tied for 21st overall with an 87, 16th among Class 3A golfers, earning a spot in districts. He did very well on the front nine, hitting a 39 and shooting 6 pars, though the back nine was less successful at a 48. Williams is the first Elizabethtown golfer to qualify since Charlotte Reed in 2016, and the first boy since Ned Baumbach in 2014.
Krisko came close to qualifying as well, tying for 29th overall at an 89. He competed in a playoff to earn the second alternate spot, ultimately falling to sophomore Luke Spangler of Northern Lebanon after four holes. Gilbert tied for 35th with a 91, putting all three Elizabethtown boys in the top 40. Markley shot a 121, finishing tied for 14th among the girls and missing out on districts.
The District 3 Championship is scheduled to take place on Friday, Oct. 5, and Saturday, Oct. 6, at Briarwood Golf Club in York.