Golf: Grove City's Lizzie Saur, Jeremiah Bane close strong prep careers at district
Shortly after competing in the Division I district tournament Oct. 13 at New Albany Links, the Grove City girls golf team met for a dinner to celebrate another banner season.
Those achievements include winning back-to-back league titles for the first time, as the Greyhounds finished first in the OCC-Ohio Division at 20-0, ahead of runner-up Gahanna (13-7).
The dinner also was an opportunity to recognize senior Lizzie Saur, who leaves the program as one of its most prolific golfers.
Saur and senior Jeremiah Bane — the top district finisher for the boys team — both closed out strong final seasons.
Saur narrowly missed earning a second consecutive state berth, finishing with a 74 to come in one stroke behind the 73 shot by Granville’s Ella Wigal and Olentangy Berlin’s Mia Raines.
The top two teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state Friday, Oct. 23, and Saturday, Oct. 24, at Ohio State’s Gray Course.
Bane tied for 11th of 72 golfers with a 75 at the boys district tournament Oct. 13 at Apple Valley.
“I’ve learned so much along the way and I’ve met so many amazing people,” Saur said. “I don’t think I’d have it any other way. I’m very grateful for the last four years.”
Last season as the program’s first state qualifier, Saur tied for seventh (145) of 72 golfers to earn second-team all-state honors.
The Greyhounds also celebrated Saur earning Player of the Year honors in the OCC-Ohio for the second consecutive year as she finished with a 73.7 average.
Saur, who has committed to Youngstown State, also was first-team all-league as a sophomore and freshman.
“Lizzie has done so much for the girls golf program at Grove City,” coach Megan Blaney said. “From day one, she’s shown what dedication and hard work look like and what that can do for players. She’s been a leader since her freshman year, encouraging others to stay positive, show up and put in the work.
“There aren’t many individuals like Lizzie out there, and I’m so honored to have been able to coach her for the past four years.”
The Greyhounds finished fifth (345) of nine teams at district behind champion New Albany (294).
“It means a lot because our program has grown in such a short amount of time and I’m glad I got to be a part of it,” Saur said about the Greyhounds qualifying for district as a team for the second consecutive season.
Freshman Bella Saur shot an 81 at district, followed by freshman Kaylyn Henson (94), and sophomores Rachael Jones (96) and Chloe Seeley (100).
Bella Saur (80.3), Lizzie’s sister, also was first-team all-league.
“I’ll definitely be rooting for her,” Lizzie said of her sister. “I’m glad I got her to love the game of golf because at first she was not completely onboard with it, but I’m really glad she’s now into it and I know she has a bright future in the game.”
Jones (88.7) was second-team all-league, and Henson and Seeley (both 93.7) were honorable mention all-league.
Others eligible to return are juniors Samantha Paduchik and Katie Thrun, sophomore Livia Dimmerling and freshman Tristan Wilson.
Bane called his career with the boys team a rewarding one, despite failing to reach state in his final year.
“It’s been really fun,” Bane said. “I’m going to miss it a lot. I’m going to miss the bond I have with all my teammates and hanging out outside of golf and going to practice every day.”
Juniors Nash Linder (76) and Trent Ruffing (80), senior Thatcher Wilson (90) and junior Brodie Scott (90) also competed at district.
The Greyhounds finished ninth (321) of 12 teams as champion Olentangy Orange (298) and runner-up Dublin Jerome (302) advanced to state Oct. 23 and 24 at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course.
“We played really solid golf,” coach Eric Joreski said. “We wanted to be a little bit better, but we really competed. We’ve had a hell of a year, just an unbelievable year.”
Bane was first-team all-OCC-Ohio, finishing second (71.33) to Pickerington North’s Carson Bellish (70.33) for Player of the Year honors.
Ruffing (77) was second-team all-league, and Wilson (77.67) and Linder (78) were honorable mention all-league.
Grove City finished second (11-5) behind Westerville Central (13-3) in the league.
Bane was Player of Year in the league last season, first-team all-league as a sophomore and second-team all-league as a freshman.
He plans on playing in college, but remains undecided on a school.
“He’s going to be a great college player,” Joreski said. “Wherever he decides to go, they’re getting a kid that just competes his rear end off and is going to give them his all. He’s a phenomenal golfer.”
Sophomore Steven Jordan also is eligible to return.
“These guys just keep learning from that previous group and keep adding on to it,” Joreski said. “If you look at our last couple of years, we just keep getting better. They’re really competitive within the team and because they’re really competitive, they just drive each other. That’s going to be a big hole to fill without Jeremiah because he’s the leader of driving these guys.”
•OCC-Ohio standings: Westerville Central (13-3), Grove City (11-5), New Albany (7-9), Pickerington North (5-11), Gahanna (4-12)
•Seniors lost: Jeremiah Bane and Thatcher Wilson
•Key returnees: Nash Linder, Trent Ruffing and Brodie Scott
•Postseason: Second (313) at sectional behind St. Charles (297), ninth (321) at district behind champion Olentangy Orange (298)
•OCC-Ohio standings: Grove City (20-0), Gahanna (13-7), Pickerington North (12-7-1), Pickerington Central (9-11), Big Walnut (5-15), Lancaster (0-19-1)
•Seniors lost: Ysabel Gomez and Lizzie Saur
•Key returnees: Kaylyn Henson, Rachael Jones, Bella Saur and Chloe Seeley
•Postseason: Third (352) at sectional behind champion New Albany (286), fifth (345) at district behind champion New Albany (294)