Riders Claim Long-Awaited Title

Members of the St. Marys Roughriders boys golf team, from left, coach Steve Schmitmeyer, Calvin Caywood, Nathan Kuffner, Austin Boley, Michael Baldwin, Reese Sweigart and Clay Quellhorst pose with their awards and score sheet after Thursday’s Western Buckeye League Boys Golf Tournament.
Sports Editor

The St. Marys Roughriders did not just win the 2018 Western Buckeye League title; they owned the league in 2018.

After finishing the WBL regular season undefeated for the first time in school history, the Roughriders won their first WBL crown in 18 years with the best team score in Thursday's league tournament with a 343 — led by all-league golfer and medalist Austin Boley with his score of 79 — at Eagle Rock Golf Course in Defiance.

"I knew it was possible," Roughriders coach Steve Schmitmeyer said. "When we played in the Celina Invitational, all of the WBL teams were there and we beat them all. After that, I told the guys, 'Now we know we can.'"

Finishing second at the tournament was Shawnee with a 347, followed by Defiance with a 354 and Ottawa-Glandorf with a 356.

After back-to-back postponements because of weather, the Roughriders opened the WBL season with a slim 182-188 win against last season's WBL runner-up Shawnee at the Shawnee Country Club — a course no St. Marys team has been able to win at since the early 2000s.

"We pulled that out, and we have been able to win since then," Schmitmeyer said. "It has been fun."

St. Marys also squeaked out one-stroke victories against last year's defending champion Wapakoneta (158-159) and Ottawa-Glandorf (152-153) and defeated Defiance at Eagle Rock earlier this month with a 175-177 win.

St. Marys has been relying on four boys — all of which has been in Schmitmeyer's golf program for multiple years.

After the departure of three-time state qualifier Jill Schmitmeyer, the Riders were led by junior Boley, senior Clay Quellhorst, the emergence of sophomore Reese Swiegart and Nathan Kuffner — who played the first two years of his high school career and returned for his senior season after a one-year hiatus from the golf program.

Quellhorst carded in an 89 to garner all-league honors, followed by a 90 from Kuffner — who was voted by Schmitmeyer as an honorable mention selection. Freshman Calvin Caywood finished with a 101 in his first league tournament and Michael Baldwin carded in a 97.

Team scores

1. St. Marys 343; 2. Shawnee 347; 3. Defiance 354; 4. Ottawa-Glandorf 356; 5. Wapakoneta 363; 6. Kenton 366; 7. Elida 380; 8. Van Wert 386; 9. Celina 392; 10. Bath 396.

To read the entire story, see Friday's print edition of The Evening Leader.