By SCOTT DAVIDSON
If there were any lingering doubts as to who the team to beat is for the Northern Lakes Conference Golf Tournament Saturday, Warsaw put those to rest Thursday in a big, big way.
The host Tigers capped an unbeaten run through the NLC regular season by soundly defeating NorthWood and Goshen at the Stonehenge Golf Club.
Junior Jon Schram led the way with a 33 as the No. 6 Tigers toured their home layout at 140. NorthWood, which entered the match at 13-0 overall and 5-0 in NLC play, shot 157 and Goshen 174.
Warsaw (11-0, 7-0) will be the team to beat come Saturday when the league tourney unfolds at the Bent Oak Golf Club in Elkhart. Tee times begin at 9 a.m. with the top players scheduled to go off at 9:50 a.m.
The outstanding effort on Senior Night completed the third straight unbeaten season for the Tigers.
” The team is doing great, however, we are looking to close out some of our 18 hole contests.” said Tiger coach Ben Barkey earlier this week. “Typically we have several people under par but they end up a couple over.”
“Our outlook towards any event is to try and beat the course. We have no control what others are doing during their round. Tyler (Ostrom) and the rest of the team are playing great, just trying to clean up a few things so we can post lower numbers.”
“I don’t see us as a huge favorite, Northwood is a team very capable of playing well. All of their varsity members belong to Bent Oak. But as always we look to focus and commit to our routine and game plan.”
Barkey had not changed his tune even after watching his deep and talented team throttle NLC runner-up NorthWood Thursday night.
“We have to play the course Saturday and the shot it gives us at that moment,” Barkey said. “We can’t control what others do.”
The Tigers have rolled right through the season with a deep and talented lineup led by defending state champion Tyler Ostrom. Warsaw won the Wawasee Invitational April 28 in brutal cold with a 308, took top honors in the Homestead Invitational May 5 with a 306 and then took the CMA Invitational May 11 at 305.
Warsaw’s lineup boasts seniors Ostrom and Bennett Hollar, juniors Schram and Tim Ahlersmeyer and freshman Jonny Hollar.
Barkey will not be able to attend the NLC Tourney Saturday as he will be attending a school-related conference in Dallas. Assistant Tad Nieter, a former standout at WCHS, will be coaching the Tigers.
Wawasee completed its NLC regular season Thursday with losses to Concord and Plymouth in a match played at Bent Oak. Coach Steve Coverstone’s squad, which finished 1-6 in the NLC, shot 181 led by a 39 from medalist Derek Zurcher.