The Alter High School boys golf team, from left: Ethan Ditzel, AJ Pothast, Adam White, coach Alex Schuster, Nick Kreusch, Jack Norman. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Boys golf: Alter breaks four-year drought, returns to state tourney

In its bid to return to the Division II state golf tournament for the first time since 2012, Alter High School senior Adam White became the Knights’ poster child.

“That was actually the motto,” White said of his teammates’ pledge to get the senior to state. “We’ve been close but never made it out. It was looking for awhile it might not happen. This team came together as one and really did well.”

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The trip to Columbus marks the 21st state appearance for the Knights. It also ends a rare dry spell for the program. The four-year drought from 2012-16 is the longest for the Knights since a three-year span from 2004-06.

“It really hasn’t set in,” White said on Tuesday. “When they announced we made it, it was like finally. This is probably the best moment of my golf career. Just the general happiness of the school. When we got back to school everyone was congratulating the team. We made it and everyone is rallying behind us, which is sweet to see.”

Alter finished second at the district tournament held at Beavercreek Golf Club. The tournament started Oct. 5 but didn’t finish until Monday after rain delays. The team shot 341 to finish three shots back of Cincinnati Summit Country Day. Oakwood shot 342 to finish third and qualify to state for the 31st time.

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White, the lone senior among Alter’s five-man team, is joined by juniors Nick Kreusch and Ethan Ditzel and sophomores A.J. Pothast and Jack Norman.

“This team is the most determined and hard-working guys we’ve had,” White said. “The great thing is they’re juniors and sophomores. You’re going to be seeing Alter doing damage at the state next year and the year after that. They’re in prime condition and it’s great to see as a teammate they’re going to do well next year.”

Oakwood’s lineup consists of seniors Joe Crowl and Charlie Mullen, juniors Sam Lahmon and Alex Grant and freshman Andrew Lunne.

In Division III, Twin Valley South junior Nathan Osborn shot 71 to win medalist honors at district and advance to the state tournament.

The D-II state tournament is at NorthStar Golf Club in Sunbury. The D-III state tournament is at Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course in Columbus. Both tournaments are two-day, 36-hole events on Friday and Saturday.

“We want to go out there and enjoy the experience and play good golf,” Alter coach Alex Schuster said. “I think we have just as good of a chance as anybody to have a nice showing. None of our kids are familiar with the course we’re playing at state, but we’re going to get after it the best we can.”

Oakwood’s Lahmon shot 77 to finish third overall. Had the Lumberjacks not qualified as a team he would have gone to state as an individual. The Jacks have five state championships overall, including a stretch of consecutive titles in 2009-10 and 2012-13. Oakwood missed the state tournament in 2016.

As for Osborn, qualifying for state is redemption after missing it as a sophomore by two strokes last season.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to play at the state tournament,” he said. “I’m going to try and play my best, then I’ll just see where that puts me.”

With the state’s best teams and players battling it’s almost anyone’s tournament to win at state. White would love for the Knights to be that team. No matter what happens he’s just glad to have the opportunity.

“Since I’ve been doing this for four years now I’ve tried to give them insights that time goes by quickly and appreciate every moment of the season,” White said. “These are the big moments of your golf career you have to remember.”

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