Reynoldsburg Roundup: Boys golfers take strides forward

JARROD ULREY
julrey@thisweeknews.com
Junior Evan Litton is one of three returnees from last year's top five for the Reynoldsburg boys golf team and second-year coach Scott Brewer.

During last year's Division I sectional tournament at Turnberry, the Reynoldsburg boys golf team shot a 371 to finish 11th.

The fact that it was the Raiders' best score of the season, though, backed up the assertion by coach Scott Brewer that the program was making progress.

In addition to having three of its top five players back, Reynoldsburg has what it believes is a strong freshman class.

The combination of those factors is giving the Raiders cautious optimism that they could be in for one of their strongest seasons in recent years.

"Our hopes for the season are to, at the very least, finish second in (our league) this year," said Brewer, who is in his second season. "Throughout the season, I'd like to eventually get down into the 320s for a team score. I was real happy last year at sectionals when there's the most pressure on the kids. We actually had our best round, whereas a lot of other teams didn't do well under the pressure. We beat some teams that we hadn't beaten the whole year and we were within three strokes of beating some teams we hadn't beaten, and it's the biggest tournament of the year for a lot of kids.

"We're looking forward to the kids getting into a rhythm, continuously improving and obviously staying consistent. The kids worked hard in the offseason. They were out at the course all the time hitting balls and playing. A lot of them played in tournaments this summer, which is always really good to help them get comfortable in a competitive situation."

Reynoldsburg went 0-20 in the OCC-Ohio Division last season but has moved to the OCC-Buckeye, where it is joined by Central Crossing, Groveport, Lancaster, Newark and Pickerington Central.

On Aug. 6 in the first round of the league tournament, the Raiders finished second (344) behind Central (311).

The second round was Aug. 12 at Denison Golf Club, with the other rounds slated for Aug. 26 at Darby Creek and Sept. 9 at Turnberry.

The top returnee is senior Jamison Boykins, who averaged 80.25 during the four rounds of the OCC-Ohio tournament last season to earn second-team all-league honors.

He then shot 75 at sectional to tie for third and advance to district for the first time. In the district tournament at Apple Valley, Boykins shot 78 to tie for 26th as he came up eight strokes shy of advancing to state.

Juniors Evan Litton and Alex Perez, who averaged 104.5 and 105, respectively, in league action last season, are the other returnees. Perez shot 91 and Litton carded 99 at sectional.

Also on the team are freshmen Grant Raubenolt and Braylon Polley.

On Aug. 6, Boykins shot 74 to share medalist honors with Central's Cole Crandall while Raubenolt had an 87, followed by Litton (90) and Perez (93).

On Aug. 5 in the Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry, the Raiders finished 12th (336) of 20 teams behind the champion and host Tigers (298).

"It's amazing (being back with my teammates)," Boykins said. "Maybe we have a chance with a couple good rounds to have a good chance in our division."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

At a glance

BOYS GOLF

*Coach: Scott Brewer, second season

*Top players: Jamison Boykins, Evan Litton, Alex Perez, Braylon Polley and Grant Raubenolt

*Key loss: Spencer Daugherty

*2019 OCC-Ohio standings: Pickerington Central (16-4), Grove City (14-6), Gahanna (13-7), Pickerington North (13-7), Lancaster (4-16), Reynoldsburg (0-20)

*2019 postseason: 11th at sectional