IR golf team aims for wins as season’s end nears
It wasn’t their best performance, but after falling short in two matches last week, Indian River High School’s varsity golf team was back in the winning column with Tuesday’s match at Sussex Pines against the Golden Knights of Sussex Central High School.
The Indians edged the Knights, 201-203, but registered the most strokes in a single match all season long. In fact, Indian River’s six-starter roster hadn’t shot over 200 since their 2008-2009 season, and head coach Paris Mitchell hopes not to see it again.
“It’s nice to get a win again,” said Mitchell on Tuesday evening, following the victory, “but that’s not the kind of golf we strive for at Indian River. We’re definitely going to get back to practice tomorrow and work on the basics of the game.”
According to Mitchell, several aspects of the game came up short, across the board.
“Every one of our starters, with the exception of one,” he noted, “marked their highest score of the season. It wasn’t just one thing. Some were struggling with their drive. Others had trouble with their chipping, and our putting could definitely be better. We’ve got to get back to the fundamentals of the game.”
Despite the performance, the Indians walked away with the win on Tuesday, and senior Taylor Lewis shot a 45, as did Sussex Central’s Brandon Betts, for the lowest scores of the day. This marked the sixth match this season in which Lewis has been named medalist or co-medalist, versus the two she earned last season.
The start of the schedule had been smooth sailing for the Indian River golf team. The Indians opened up their season with six straight wins, but they knew the road would be tough against the defending state champions of Caesar Rodney, who, as of Tuesday, May 1, maintained a perfect 10-0 record on the year. Indian River fell to the Riders in late April, then turned around with a match against Delmar at Green Hill Yacht Country Club two days later.
Though the Delmar Wildcats held the victory in the 181-180 match as of mid-week this week, that win has been in dispute following the contest, as a miscalculation on the Indians’ scorecard has put the match under review with the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA).
During the match, a Delmar player recorded an inaccurate score for an Indian River golfer, but because it was signed off on by that Indians golfer, the Indians player was the one who was penalized for the error.
If the DIAA rules that the match was handled appropriately, with the penalty properly assessed, that score will stand, giving the Indians their first defeat this season against a Southern Henlopen team. If the DIAA decides that Delmar should be penalized for the error, as well, the match would level out in a tie, 180-180, and the Indians would be named victors, holding the edge under the tiebreaker of the lowest score throughout the season up to that point.
And official ruling from DIAA was still pending as of Wednesday, May 2.
“Up until that match,” said Mitchell, “our team and Delmar were both 6-1. Sussex Tech threw them a low score at the beginning of the season, and [Delmar] still has to play Caesar Rodney. We’ve got to look past that match and just play our game,” he added.
The Indians were scheduled to host Sussex Tech on Thursday, May 3, (after Coastal Point press deadline). Indian River will round out the last three matches of the regular season by the middle of May, with two of their final three bouts against Southern Henlopen opponents.
“Hopefully,” said Mitchell, “we can get everything straightened out as we finish up the season. We lucked out [against Sussex Central], and we still have a chance to finish strong, but we’ve got to play the game the way we know how and get back on the winning track.”