HAGERSTOWN — A pavilion picnic table topped with sandwiches and snacks drew smiles from Westminster’s golfers who made the trip to Black Rock Golf Course for Tuesday’s Class 4A-3A District 1 tournament.
The Owls sat and relaxed with coach Jim Carpenter just beyond the clubhouse after their performance, one that propelled them back to the state tournament for a second time in as many seasons.
Munchies might have made them happy, but their collective effort was more than enough reason for the grins. Cory Campbell, the Owls’ lone senior, fired a 7-over par 78 as their low scorer. Junior Aaron Sorkin followed with a 79, and sister Jennifer Sorkin, a sophomore, carded an 80 that gave her girls medalist honors.
Westminster’s 330 score was good for second in the team standings, and low enough for the Owls to join the 4A-3A field next month at the state tournament at University of Maryland (Oct. 28-30).
“We had confidence coming in,” said Campbell, who carded birdies on holes No. 1, 12, and 17. “All of us have been putting up good numbers, numbers that would easily qualify. So confidence was a big thing.”
Aaron Sorkin made birdies on Nos. 3 and 16, and Jennifer Sorkin had a birdie in her round as well.
Nathan Leppo and Evan Appleby, Westminster’s fourth and fifth players and a pair of rookies, each shot 93. Carpenter, in his first year as Owls coach, half-joked that doing just enough to play at states was the goal at districts.
“I thought they played solid. I just wanted them shoot a decent score,” Carpenter said. “Everybody did exactly what I asked them to do.”
Urbana won the team title with a 294, led by Michael Snyder’s 1-under 70. The Hawks had the top four finishers in Snyder, Bach Ngo (71), Tommy Coffey (76), and Jacob Ferrari (77).
Campbell was fifth, and Aaron Sorkin finished sixth.
The 2A-1A District 1 tourney is Oct. 1, back at Black Rock, with Century, Liberty, Manchester Valley, South Carroll, and Winters Mill in the field.
Jennifer Sorkin birdied her first hole, No. 1, and stayed steady the rest of the way for her medalist effort. And she wasn’t satisfied despite the low score.
“I didn’t play that well for the rest of the round,” said Sorkin, who clipped Urbana’s Anphi Le (81) for the individual crown. “Lots of pars, tried to not have as many bogeys. The conditions just ... it is what it is.”
Westminster’s players said wind was a factor Tuesday, but not an excuse. The Owls’ expectations are such that low numbers and success take precedence, whether they’re vying for a state tournament spot or trying to defend their Carroll County Athletic League title.
Last Thursday, the Owls won a tri-match with Century and rival Winters Mill at Links at Challedon in Mount Airy. Campbell shot a 2-under 34, and with birdies on his final two holes helped Westminster total 156 to WM’s 157.
Their official CCAL matchup is set for Oct. 3 at Westminster National Golf Course, both teams’ home site. But it seems likely the Falcons and Owls are in line to determine the county champ once again this fall.
Winters Mill won the county title in 2016 before Westminster prevailed in 2017 and 2018.
“I think we’re just trying to keep rolling,” Aaron Sorkin said. “Keep the confidence up to hopefully be county champs again.”
1. Urbana 294, 2. Westminster 330, 3. S. Hagerstown 374, 4. Frederick 399, 4. Tuscarora 399, 6. Thomas Johnson 412.