WOODCOCK TOWNSHIP — The wind at The Country Club of Meadville on Monday did a real number on the high school golf teams competing in the second Region 6 mega match of the season.
How bad was it? Well, just three golfers were able to break 80, led by Meadville’s Ryan Ferry with a 75 to post the top number of the day. It was a solid score on a very difficult track, and it played a key roll in the Bulldogs moving up the leaderboard a bit. In the first mega match, Meadville placed fourth. This time out, the Bulldogs took advantage of their home course and grabbed the No. 3 spot.
“We were only a 353 in the first mega match,” said Meadville head coach Fred Garvey. “It’s a little misleading, because this is a bit tougher course. But Ryan (Ferry) shot better. (Matt) Mahoney shot better. And Sam shot a 120 that first time out.”
The other two scores in the 70s were both for Cathedral Prep, who won the mega match with a team score of 322. Evan Rowane and Breckin Taylor each shot a 78 as the Ramblers won their second straight mega. Phil Pedano and Zack Henry shot 82 and 84, respectively, to round out the scoring.
“(Cathedral Prep and McDowell) are very good,” said Garvey. “And they are very deep, too. Their one and two are strong ... they are just good.”
And McDowell proved they belonged in that conversation.
Just like the first mega match the Trojans placed second, this time scoring a 338. Skyler Carr led the way for McDowell with an 80, while Joe DeAngelo added an 84. Ricky Federici (86) and Max Paris (88) allowed McDowell to join Cathedral Prep as the only teams with four golfers under 90.
Then there was Meadville with a 352.
Ferry, of course, led the way. But Garvey was pleased with how his team responded to the tough conditions. Mike Mahoney carded an 80. And Meadville’s other scorers — Sam Coppola (92) and Ryan Young (105) — both showed improvement. Despite that, Ferry kept his pocket notebook full and his clothes dry.
“That is Ryan (Ferry) being a leader, and he has done a great job of it,” said Garvey. “He has a bet with these younger guys that if they can break 350 (as a team), he will buy everyone lunch or jump in the lake (by the driving range). It’s surprisingly pretty good motivation.”
Warren was in fourth place with a 355. The Dragons got solid rounds from Owen Blum (86), Drew Swanson (87) and Selvie Pearson (87), but came up just a couple shots short of the Bulldogs.
Erie, which took third in the first mega match, fell two spots to fifth. Evan Nadza posted an 88 for the Royals, while Cody Nikolai followed with a 89.
Fort LeBoeuf’s Dalton Houpt tallied an 86 to lead the Bison (384) to sixth. And General McLane, still rebuilding after the program was reinstated a few years ago, finished seventh with a 439.
Next up for all the Region 6 teams is the third mega match, this one at Blueberry Hill. Garvey was not as optimistic about the Bulldogs’ chances at the Warren golf course.
“Me teams never play great at Blueberry,” said Garvey. “The greens are smaller ... it is not an easy track by any means. And then you have to be in a van for an hour and 25 minutes and you have to get out and try to get loosened up. This is a tough region and we have some good courses in this region.”