Boys Golf: Noah Cox setting strong example for Canal Winchester

DAVE PURPURA
dpurpura@thisweeknews.com
Canal Winchester junior Jameson Hippler hits off the 12th tee during the first round of the OCC-Capital Division tournament Aug. 6 at Turnberry. Hippler is among the team's top players.

Noah Cox spent much of the summer, if not longer, getting his future in order.

The Canal Winchester senior took four courses at Ohio Dominican last school year, one more than the number of "regular high school" classes in which he was enrolled, and added a full-time job at an insurance agency in his hometown this summer.

With his plans to take more college classes this school year, Cox estimates he will have 60 credit hours by the time he enrolls at Ohio State next fall.

Even with all that on his plate, Cox managed to spend some time on the golf course to entrench himself as the Indians' top player for the second consecutive year.

"I haven't had much time to play golf. That job takes up a lot of my time and I don't have time to practice, but I've definitely improved," said Cox, who was the Indians' No. 2 golfer as a sophomore. "I've been working with my swing coach and going to the range. I play practice rounds all the time. Once you get down into the low 80s and high 70s, it's even harder to move a few shots down. I just keep plugging away and hoping to improve."

Cox began the season Aug. 5 with an 82 in the Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry, enhancing third-year coach Rick Maharry's expectations that Cox will be a stable leader atop a lineup filled with underclassmen and needing varsity experience.

"I like what I've been seeing. He's improving a lot and that's mostly from just playing more and more," Maharry said. "His maturity is definitely better. He's been very helpful for the younger guys. He does have a leadership role. I can see that in him. If we're on the range, he'll work with the other guys with their chipping and putting. He is just setting a good example. That's the biggest thing, and he's a really good kid not only on the course but off the course.

"He's going to do some really good things this year and once he gets into college."

The Indians shot a 346 on Aug. 5 to finish 14th of 20 teams as the host Tigers won (298).

The next day in the first round of the four-round OCC-Capital Division tournament at Turnberry, Cox's 83 led Canal Winchester to a score of 354 and fifth place behind Delaware (314), Dublin Scioto (326), Big Walnut (327) and Westerville North (352) and ahead of Westerville South (359).

Also scoring were junior Calvin Trigg (88), sophomore Andrew Sycks (88) and junior Jameson Hippler (95). Sophomore Noah Fair shot a 101.

Rounding out the roster is sophomore Nolan Frey.

"The thing is that it's a younger group without a lot of tournament experience," Maharry said. "So far, they've been solid out there hitting. They're striking the ball well. It was very wet (Aug. 5) with all the rain (Turnberry) took, so that was a challenge."

The second round of the league tournament was Aug. 12 at Darby Creek.

"Overall, I think they're all going to be pretty consistent," Maharry said. "Nolan being a fifth guy at 89 (on Aug. 5), the past few years, that usually would have been our second-best score. We're already starting off a lot better. But it's great to have more stability and continuity (to) where they bunch together."

Cruisers still building roster

Groveport Madison coach Joe Rinkes expected to continue assembling his team this week after the Cruisers got off to a late start.

The district approved the resumption of sports Aug. 4 after they were suspended for almost a week because of COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic concerns. That left the Cruisers with one day of practice Aug. 5 before beginning their season Aug. 6 with the first round of the four-round OCC-Buckeye tournament at Apple Valley.

Junior Price Cooper shot a 118 as the team's lone competitor.

"The goal with him is to break 100. Except for a few bad holes, he was right there with a chance to do that (Aug. 6)," said Rinkes, who is in his 10th season. "He's hitting the ball well. He got a lot of work in this summer. He'll get more consistent. That will come with repetition."

According to Rinkes, 11 students expressed interest in tryouts but that group thinned somewhat last week.

"We'll practice again (this) week and I'll reach out to more kids," Rinkes said.

"It'll be important to get more kids up to speed and have them participate in the league tournament. I'll reach out again and see what happens."

The second round of the league tournament was Aug. 12 at Denison Golf Club.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave

At a glance

CANAL WINCHESTER

*Coach: Rick Maharry, third season

*Top players: Noah Cox, Jameson Hippler, Andrew Sycks and Calvin Trigg

*Key losses: Joshua Fair, Drew Grilli and Vincent Vatri

*2019 OCC-Capital standings: New Albany (15-1), Big Walnut (13-3), Canal Winchester (8-8), Newark (4-12), Groveport (0-16)

*2019 postseason: 10th at sectional

GROVEPORT MADISON

*Coach: Joe Rinkes, 10th season

*Top player: Price Cooper

*Key losses: Riley Cartmill and Ricky Cooper

*2019 postseason: 13th at sectional