SPRINGVILLE — Springville-Griffith Institute’s varsity golf team finished its season at the Erie County Interscholastic Conference championships Saturday, Oct. 6.
Three of Springville’s 18 players on the varsity squad qualified for the ECIC championships. Senior Will Lawton and a pair of juniors, Eric Hopkins and Greg Beatty, took to Diamond Hawk Golf Course in Cheektowaga.
All three golfers shot scores in the middle of the pack, while Beatty missed the cut by one stroke, to move on to another invite. Beatty received the team award for most improved, given by Head Coach Dave Hawkes.
“Individual and team improvement was the goal throughout the season,” Hawkes said. “With new players returning next year, along with some older faces, we hope to pick up where we left off, this season.
“Players like Adam Wolfley, who posted scores in the mid 40s, Bryce Hall, Bryce Collins, Luke O’Neal and the Zolinski twins [Jake and Josh] ... also showed steady improvement throughout the season,” Hawkes added. “We are always looking for some younger golfers, to help fill out next year’s roster.”
Next season will mark Hawkes’ first time playing without Lawton on his team, in six years. Lawton was the team recipient of the most valuable player award, for having the lowest stroke average, throughout the season.
Thinking back to his first time coaching Lawton, Hawkes said, “I remember when Will was a seventh grader. Maybe 5’4” and 125 pounds. He sliced the ball and had to aim to the side of the fairway to keep the ball in play; 150 yard drives were about his best!
“This season, and the past two or three, he hits a beautiful draw that travels 330 yards of the tee. Some pros can’t do this,” Hawkes said, adding that Lawton’s short game has improved, as well.
Lawton’s other activities include basketball and baseball and participating in the school musical, marching band and chorus. Hawkes said, “More than game, Will is a natural leader, as seen at the pep rally. His teammates like and respect him. And, most important, he’s a gentleman and an all-round nice guy.”
The golf team practiced and played matches at the Springville Country Club.
“We are most grateful to the members of the Springville Country Club for their continued support, providing a top quality facility for practice and match play,” said Hawkes.