Dominant Tigers looking to make a run in postseason play

PHOTO BY ZACH BAKER Seneca East’s Andrew Kalb talks with coach Brad Powers Tuesday at Valley View in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference Tournament.

GALION — Gary Manasco was walking around the clubhouse at Valley View Golf Course during the Northern 10 Athletic Conference boys tournament.

The long-time Seneca East coach retired after last season, but he was still there, dressed in Tigers orange and following the scoring.

When it had been determined that Seneca East had, in fact, outlasted Upper Sandusky for the tournament title, Manasco was asked to comment.

The former coach was initially reluctant. But he had coached each one of SE’s scoring players at some point.

And asked about the meaning of the win, Manasco gave all the credit to the dedication of the athletes.

“These kids started when they were freshmen,” Manasco said. “And the amazing thing is…if I was coaching, I wouldn’t have to do too much over the summer, because they get out almost every day, every one of them…They used that time. They still are. I didn’t do much. They did it all.”

That was the themes that emerged from a conversation with the players and coaches of the Seneca East boys team.

It has put in the work to be successful.

And boy, have the Tigers been successful.

The top four players of Seneca East’s squad –Jake Forehand, Andy Bauman, Andrew Kalb and Turner Bridgford — earned all-conference honors. The Tigers won all of their N10 matches this season, making them outright league champs.

And while Upper Sandusky standout Brett Montgomery won the individual league title and had the best nine-hole average (35.9) in the N10, the next three spots all belonged to the Tigers. And three of the four Tigers are averaging better than 40 strokes per nine holes.

“We’re all pretty confident. We’re happy with how the season went,” said Jake Forehand, the Tigers’ No. 1 player.

The Tigers capped their perfect conference slate by holding off Upper Sandusky, 328-330 at the conference tournament Tuesday.

“Yeah, it was a little closer than how we wanted, but hopefully we can get it together for sectionals, district and hopefully state,” Forehand said.

One thing’s for sure. The Tigers will be prepared for the sectional tournament, which will be next Thursday back at Valley View.

That’s because they’ve been prepared all season.

“These four, every day in the summer, multiple rounds of golf, what? At least 18 holes a day?,” said Brad Powers, who is coaching the team along with Jay Forehand. “It’s all about the work ethic they have put into it.”

It’s been work for the coaches, too. But Jon Margraf, who along with Nolan Jones makes up the fifth and sixth positions in the Tigers’ lineup, said there are real positives to it.

“Having more than one coach allows for one coach to be with the top four and work with them,” Margraf said, “and then also, another coach to work with Nolan (Jones) and I at 5 and 6, and it’s just overall, a good process.”

And the process likely could continue for a few weeks.

But Powers said the players aren’t looking ahead.

“We’re thinking about tomorrow and what time practice is, and what we’re gonna do for (tonight) against Arcadia at Lakeland, and just take it one game at a time. That’s what we’ve preached all year. One day, one hole, one shot at a time. And we’re not gonna go beyond that.”