Pierre Southibounnorath is gaining confidence and shaving strokes off his scorecard.
The junior on the Westerville North High School boys golf team shot a 1-under par 71 in the fourth and final round of the OCC-Buckeye Division tournament Sept. 13 at Darby Creek. He has continued to lower his scores after a rough start.
Southibounnorath shot an 80 in the first round Aug. 8 at Turnberry and a 79 in the second round Aug. 14 at Clover Valley. He then had a 70 in the third round Aug. 30 at Apple Valley and finished with a 75 average for the four rounds.
Only Olentangy Liberty's Cole Corder (72.0) and Trey Rath (74.5) had lower averages in OCC-Buckeye play.
"The more I play and get better, the more I trust myself and the more confident I get," Southibounnorath said. "You should trust every shot you take and commit to it."
Southibounnorath double-bogeyed the 18th hole in the final league round, ending a chance to tie medalist Troy Taylor (69) of Westerville South. His 70 at Apple Valley also made him runner-up to Taylor (68).
"We push each other on the golf course," Southibounnorath said. "I beat (Taylor) a couple times in middle school but not in high school. I was so close this time."
Southibounnorath plays in the No. 1 spot for the Warriors, and coach Bob Markin is starting to expect consistently low scores from him.
"I think the biggest thing is the intelligence in which he plays the game," Markin said. "He's being smart with his shots and not taking any unnecessary risks.
"For a junior, he plays the course well and makes good decisions. (At Darby Creek), he had more birdies (7) than pars (6)."
In the final round, North finished fifth (391) behind Liberty (302), Olentangy (305), Westerville Central (316) and Olentangy Orange (318) and ahead of Westerville South (397). Also competing were Parker Degler (96), Preston McCallum (109), Josh Brown (115) and Elijah Rex (121).
In the final standings, North was fifth (4-16) behind Liberty (20-0), Olentangy (14-6), Central (12-8) and Orange (10-10) and ahead of and South (0-20).
Southibounnorath has been playing well of late but started slowly, shooting 82 in the Warhawk Invitational on Aug. 9 at Rattlesnake Ridge. He took that as a wake-up call and started concentrating more on his game.
"At the beginning of the season I was practicing but wasn't focusing the way I needed to," he said. "After I shot an 82 at Rattlesnake I knew I needed to take things seriously."
Markin said his standout's maturity on the course sets him apart.
"Pierre was always a good golfer, but he has become much more mature," Markin said. "His course management skills have improved."
The Warriors will play in a Division I sectional Oct. 3 at Clover Valley. The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 10 at Apple Valley.
Before the postseason, Southibounnorath wants to fine-tune his game.
"I think the strongest part of my game is my ball-striking. I have always been able to hit the ball well since I was a kid," he said. "I feel like I need to work on my chipping. I get up and down maybe once in a while but not all the time."
Girls runners finish
second at Three Creeks
The girls cross country team used a pack mentality to finish second in the five-team Central Ohio Invitational on Sept. 16 at Three Creeks Metro Park.
The Warriors scored 44 points, finishing behind Worthington Kilbourne (26). They had all seven runners finish in the top 19 places.
Samantha Dages was fifth (21 minutes, 39.49 seconds) and Erica Mobley placed sixth (21:52.72) behind champion Tammy Bury (20:08.87) of DeSales.
Also competing were Eva Bernhardt (eighth, 22:31.13), Grace Blanchong (12th, 22:48.01), Emily Bueter (13th, 22:59.58), Emma Fury (14th, 23:14.97) and Jaiden Stokes (19th, 23:44.45).
The boys team was third (92) behind Pickerington Central (27) and Kilbourne (28).
Austin Ebbrecht (11th, 17:55.77) led North behind champion Brady Johnson (16:13.1) of Pickerington Central. Isaiah Hutcherson (16th, 18:18.43) was next, followed by Dillon Lauer (20th, 19:10.37), Will Steele (21st, 19:13.42), Ryan Iarussi (24th, 19:29.7), Carter Hudnell (25th, 19:30.45) and Seth Derstine (26th, 20:35.26).
Girls golfers finish
fifth in OCC-Buckeye
The girls golf team finished fifth (4-16) in the OCC-Buckeye behind Orange (19-1), Liberty (17-3), Central (12-8) and Olentangy (8-12) and ahead of South (0-20).
In the fourth and final round of league play Sept. 12 at Westchester, the Warriors were fifth (451) behind Orange (290), Liberty (305), Central (354) and Olentangy (371) and ahead of South (464).
Paige Miller led North with a 97.
The Warriors will play in a Division I sectional Oct. 3 at Westchester. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek.
Below are the coming schedules for the North cross country, boys golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 23 -- Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster
Sept. 23 -- Watterson Invitational at Clover Valley
Sept. 25 -- Westerville South at Blackhawk
Sept. 26 -- Westerville Central and South at Medallion
Sept. 27 -- Reynoldsburg at Blacklick Woods
Sept. 21 -- Grove City at Royal American
Sept. 25 -- Central at Royal American
Sept. 26 -- South at Royal American
Sept. 27 -- Big Walnut at Medallion
*Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty
Sept. 21 -- Home vs. Central Crossing
*Sept. 26 -- At Liberty
Sept. 25 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby
Sept. 27 -- At Hilliard Bradley
Sept. 21 -- At Franklin Heights
Sept. 23 -- At Thomas Worthington
*Sept. 26 -- At Central. The Warriors lost to the Warhawks 25-21, 22-25, 25-13, 15-25, 17-15 on Sept. 5.