Canal Winchester Roundup: Grace Beerman sets tone for girls golf team

DAVE PURPURA
dpurpura@thisweeknews.com
Sophomore Grace Beerman of the Canal Winchester girls golf team follows a putt during the second round of the OCC-Central tournament Aug. 19 at New Albany Links. Beerman averaged 83.7 to earn honorable mention all-league honors.

That Grace Beerman has maintained the top spot for the Canal Winchester girls golf team for her entire prep career so far -- in addition to leading the Indians in average -- is enough to make coach Abbi Eft proud of her sophomore standout.

But in recounting her favorite characteristics of Beerman, Eft didn't directly mention athletic prowess but instead listed qualities she believes are key to her success.

"She's a great listener. She doesn't make excuses," Eft said. "She's focused. She never gets down on herself. Last year could have been intimidating for her, coming in and playing that No. 1 spot, but her leadership has impressed me all along. She's extremely humble, talented and hard-working and that's a great combination."

Beerman averaged 42 per nine holes and 86 for 18 to lead the Indians entering the week. She averaged 83.7 in the four-round OCC-Central Division tournament to earn honorable mention all-league honors and recorded a career-best nine-hole score of 36 on Aug. 17 at Westchester against Watkins Memorial.

Beerman carded an 82 during the third round of the league tournament Aug. 26 at Mentel Memorial.

"I've had a lot of rounds that I've been super excited about and a lot that haven't been so great but that I've learned from," Beerman said. "I worked a lot harder (during the offseason) than I did coming into my freshman year. I went to the gym a lot more to gain distance. Mentally, I worked a lot harder on myself, too."

Beerman wants to add about 20 to 25 yards to her current 200-yard driving average.

She also hopes her scores will be enough to earn her a berth into the Division I district tournament Oct. 13 at New Albany Links.

Beerman shot 97 at the Blacklick Woods sectional last year. District-qualifying individual scores from that sectional were 83, 84 and 85.

If she were to qualify, Beerman would be the Indians' second individual to advance in three seasons, following Rachel Hatley in 2018.

"Grace is intrinsically motivated. She constantly tries to improve and really has gotten better from 150 to 100 yards in," Eft said. "The way she can put a ball right on target from that distance is impressive. Her putting has improved and her irons are crisp."

Canal Winchester was averaging 198 per nine holes and 398 for 18 as a team entering the week. The Indians went 3-17 in a competitive OCC-Central to finish fifth behind two-time defending Division I state champion New Albany (19-1).

"We didn't finish where we wanted -- we were hoping for a little better -- but we improved our record from last year (1-19) and we wanted to average below 200 shots per nine holes and 400 for 18. So far, we've done that," Eft said. "Seeing ourselves achieve that has (provided) some extra encouragement."

Boys golfers lowering scores

Boys golf coach Rick Maharry called his top four of Noah Cox, Nolan Frey, Jameson Hippler and Calvin Trigg the best group he's had in three seasons with the Indians, largely because they have been steady most of the year.

With few exceptions, those four have shot between the low 80s and mid-90s, results that helped Canal Winchester finish sixth in the OCC-Capital behind their best average in league play since 2017.

"We're more consistent with our top four than we've been in years past. When they've a bad hole they know how to let it go," Maharry said. "We're not getting those scores well into the 100s or anything like that. It's been mostly 80s into the mid-90s. Sometimes the guys still get nervous and frustrated but we've done a lot of work on the mental game. When that's better, the physical game gets better, too."

The Indians went 8-19 in the OCC-Capital as Worthington Kilbourne won (21-0) but finished with an average of 361 for the four-round league tournament, a considerable drop from 370.5 last year and 374.75 in 2018.

"I thought we could make it into the top half of the league, but it's pretty tough," Maharry said. "As long as we're dropping our scores, that's the most important thing."

Cox averaged 83 in the league tournament and owned the team's best 18-hole score of the season entering the week, as he shot a 77 in the Bob Darwin Memorial Invitational on Sept. 5 at Westchester.

Jenkins pacing boys soccer team

The boys soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to three games with a 2-all tie at Perrysburg on Sept. 19 behind goals from seniors Jack Jenkins and Sam Dowden.

Jenkins' eight goals through nine games accounted for almost half of the Indians' total. Junior goalie Chase Newsome stopped a penalty kick to preserve the tie against Perrysburg.

Canal Winchester snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Olentangy on Sept. 10 and tied Dublin Scioto at 1 on Sept. 15. The Indians were 2-4-3 overall and 0-2-1 in the OCC-Capital entering a Sept. 22 home game against Westerville North.

Jenkins had six goals last season.

Sophomore Isaiah Coleman had four goals through nine games.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

Canal Winchester goalie Johnny Bates boots the ball down field during a 1-all tie with visiting Dublin Scioto on Sept. 15. The Indians were 2-4-3 overall after playing Perrysburg to a 2-all tie Sept. 19.