EXETER — As Mariano Medico and Chase Medico were walking to the 18th hole at Fox Hill Country Club on Friday afternoon, the two Holy Redeemer standouts were struck with emotion.
The seniors who have been golfing together for years at the club realized that Friday’s round during the District 2 Class 2A Team Championship was the last time they would be walking off the course together during a high school event.
Before embracing with a hug at the end of the round, they made the most of their last time playing together in high school. Medico once again shot the low round on the course during the event, while his longtime buddy was right behind one shot back to lead the Royals to their second straight district title. The Royals posted a combined 301, cruising past Holy Cross, which amassed a score of 328. In the 3A event, Crestwood fell short of claiming the gold medal, falling to Abington Heights, 312-325.
“I just kept telling him ‘we gotta grind it out.’ We weren’t playing our best out there today,” Medico said. “It’s the final match here for us and we’ve had so many memories here over the years it’s great that we got the win here in our last time playing.”
There are still a few high school tournaments left, but it’s unlikely that the two will be paired together again. And even though both will be playing golf next year at Monmouth, it was still a sentimental day.
“It was in the back of my mind on the back nine that this is the last time in high school we’re going to play together and I couldn’t have asked for a better four years with somebody,” Makowski said. “The next four years we’re going to be together too, but it’s just a new beginning starting.”
The Royals advance to the Northeast Regional and will face the District 4 champion on Oct. 11 at Eagles Mere Country Club. Last year, Redeemer got past the regional before dropping a heart-breaking match in the state final by one stroke. Now, a more veteran club, the Royals have their sights set on gaining the ultimate prize, but they aren’t looking that far ahead.
“We all want to win the state championship because of what happened last year,” Medico added. “But as a team we all want to get to states first, taking it one step at a time. We have to get there before we get our hopes up. I think when we get there, then we have the expectation to win.
“After a district title we don’t say ‘oh we’re going to win states.’ We just need to take it one step at a time and focus on next week.”
A team loaded with depth, the Royals have the talent to make a run at the PIAA gold. Their depth showed yet again on Friday as every golfer shot a score under 80. Andrew Crossin and Mike Boland carded 76s, while Ryan Crossin’s score didn’t go towards the team total because only the top four did, he still put up a solid score of 79. Only one Holy Cross golfer, Dom Mancinelli shot so well, carding a 77.
“For five guys to shoot under 80, that’s why we’re good,” Makowski added. “We have the depth to beat most teams, so that’s really going to help us at states.”
Crestwood, which topped Dallas and Coughlin last week at Fox Hill to claim the WVC title, was led by Billy Dombroski’s 74 and Joe Hurn’s 77. Seth Korch fired 84 and Jason Dotzel’s 90 rounded out the team’s scores.
Abington meanwhile, had four scores of 81 or lower to pull away after leading by just two shots once the first nine holes were recorded on the scoreboard. Anthony Sebastanelli (75), Dave Harris (76), Matt Heckman (80) and John Comerford (81) all scored in the victory. Abington Heights will also participate in next week’s regional at Eagles Mere against a D4 opponent.
District 2 Golf Team Championships
(at Fox Hill Country Club)
Note: top four scores counted towards team total
Holy Redeemer `(301)
Mariano Medico` 37-37-74
Holy Cross `328