By Pat Payton | Sports Editor for the Journal Argus
It took two rounds of ‘chip-offs’ before the Stratford Country Club squad claimed the Junior Golf of Huron-Perth League trophy here Monday, Aug. 28 at St. Marys Golf and Country Club.
It was the first year for the Junior league, which hopes to expand with Juniors from six area golf courses taking part next summer.
This summer, eight-member Junior teams from four local golf clubs took part. The format in each of the four golf tournaments was a two-player scramble in each of the four age groups (Novice 9-10, Peewee 11-12, Bantam 13-14 and Midget 15-16).
Starting in July, each of the participating golf courses hosted a tournament, with St. Marys the venue for the League Championship round on Aug. 28.
Stratford Country Club played the Stratford Municipal team for the championship trophy. River Valley G&CC played St. Marys G&CC for consolation honours, and St. Marys managed to grab third place and the bronze.
There were some strong individual performances by the St. Marys Juniors. Chase McDougall and Nate Schiedel won the Novice 9-10 age division, and Jimmy Schiedel and Jake Grant tied for first in the 11-12 age division.
“The whole idea is having some fun and playing in a team format,” said St. Marys president and General Manager Matt Staffen, who received special praise for being a driving force behind starting the Junior League.
“The first season of the Junior Golf League of Huron Perth was a huge success. It was tremendous to see both the competitive and excitement levers of the kids at each tournament.
“The parity of the league was incredible, with any of the four courses having a chance to win each division, at each tournament. Our goal going in was to (a) get kids more involved with their golf clubs in a competitive, team atmosphere (similar to hockey, soccer, etc.), and (b) to grow the game of golf in our communities.
“And we feel that we accomplished our first goal and are well on our way to accomplishing the second, long-term goal,” Staffen added.
Members of the 2017 St. Marys team were: Sam Watt, Sam Bolton, Jimmy Schiedel, Nate Schiedel, Chase McDougall, Jake Grant, Nate Reay and Scott McClelland.
Members of the River Valley team were: Connor Aarts, Aiden Aarts, Jack Aarts, Ben Turner, Adam Turner, Aaron Waugh, Brayden Robertson and RJ Masse.