AML Golf Championship secured for Punxsy

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The course was covered. The wind was blowing. The rain clouds were threatening.

But despite all that, the Punxsutawney Chucks' won the Allegheny Mountain League Championship, 363-374, over the Elk County Catholic Crusaders.

"Weather was an extreme factor," Punxsy head coach Josh Conrad said. "We were the only people on the course because the wind was so bad. Hitting a green in regulation was an incredible accomplishment."

Conrad also said the two teams had to deal with the large amount of fallen leaves, which had flooded the course.

"No. 12 was completely covered with leaves," Conrad said. "Ian Miller had to search for a ball that was on the green because the leaves were several inches high on the green. I've never seen conditions like that."

Ryan States was the medalist for the day, notching a 90 to lead the Chucks. Ian Miller, Micky DeChurch and Mike Blose followed, all earning 91s on the 18-hole challenge. Brandon Mancuso and Logan Reed both golfed for the Chucks but were not scored. The two hit 92 and 102, respectively.

ECC's top golfers were Eliott Struble and Michell Struble, who both notched 93. Brandon Schlimm and Bruno Cavalline were also scored, both with 94s, to round out the Crusaders' 374.

The non-scorers for ECC were Drew Meyer (94) and Jess Jaynes (99).

"ECC played well; they are a great team, and they're great kids," Conrad said. "We can only hope that they'll be hosting us at their home course next year."

The Punxsy Chucks' next stop is regional competition, which will take place at Tom's Run Golf Course Tuesday in Blairsville.

"I went into (AML) thinking it was a good practice round for Regionals because it was good competition," Conrad said.

Conrad said he and the Chucks are looking forward to Regionals and is hoping they will be able to put up good competition.

"We're due for a good round of golf," Conrad said. "We haven't had that since districts, (but) the competition is just incredible down there."

Conrad said he is looking forward to better course conditions but is also nervous about Punxsy's chances.

"It's a great course, and we had a good practice round overall," Conrad said. "Just like at districts, we're the underdogs. We'll see what happens."

Six teams will compete, and only two advance to States.