Punxsy takes boys' golf D-IX title going away

ST. MARYS — There will be another district year added to the boys' golf banner hanging in the high school gymnasium, as Punxsy claimed its second-straight AAA District IX team championship on Monday in St. Marys. The Chucks took away a 20-stroke victory over Bradford, 338-358 for the title.

Punxsy also saw both Brandon Mancuso and senior Mike Blose advance to Saturday's district individual top seven to play an additional 18 holes to determine the two AAA regional qualifiers. Joining Mancuso and Blose will be Bradford's Mitch Faulkner and Ryan Strauss, Clearfield's Ricky Clark and Kerry Maines and DuBois' Steve Jacobson back at St. Marys' Bavarian Hills course.

"It's good for Mike to win again as a team (member)," noted Punxsy coach Josh Conrad. "He's the only (boys' golf) athlete in recent history to be part of two D-IX championship golf teams. Hopefully, Mike and Brandon can both advance to Tom's Run (Blairsville) in October."

Bradford's Faulkner had the top individual score of 79 on the day. Mancuso was right on Faulkner's heels with an 80 for second best.

Blose and Logan Reed hit for 84 apiece along with the Owls' Strauss. Eli Thompson completed the Punxsy contingent with a 90, four strokes ahead of Bradford's third finisher Brandon Whelan (94) and 11 strokes ahead of its final scorer Brayden Snyder (101).

"Every member of the team played really well today.  Most of them started off poorly and were able to hold it together to post a decent score.  They adapted well," explained Conrad. "They all mentioned that the putting green was significantly different than the greens on the course, but they played through and didn't let it bother them.  They all scored what I hoped they would score."

"I knew Mike and Brandon would post something low, but Logan and Eli really came through.  You can't ask any more from sophomores," continued the Chucks coach. "Eli played bogey golf, and Logan was just roasting drives — driving par 4s and having short irons into par 5s.  Several birdies were able to hide some really bad holes."

The Punxsy team will move on to sub-regional competition on Oct. 12.

At sub-regionals, Punxsy will face teams from Districts V, VI, VIII and X at Treasure Lake in DuBois.

"We definitely couldn't have had another successful season without the support of the team's parents and the Country Club, so we owe them a lot," wrapped up Conrad.

Punxsy will continue its regular season dual meet schedule on Tuesday versus Brockway starting at 3 p.m. at the Punxsutawney Country Club.