BERLIN- In the span of about five days, Stephen Decatur’s varsity golf team won its first Bayside South division title in a decade and followed that up with a strong showing in the District VIII/Bayside Championships on Monday.
The hot streak for the Decatur golfers began last Thursday when the Seahawks clinched the Bayside South title during a match at the Ocean Pines Golf Club, beating old nemesis Parkside High by eight strokes. Led by Jake Miller, who shot a 37, and Kyle Gebhart, who finished with a 38, the Seahawks came through the match with a low score of 167. Parkside finished second with a 175, followed by Pocomoke in third with a 203.
Buoyed by the momentum in the Bayside South title match, the Seahawks came out firing in the District VIII/Bayside Championships on Monday, coming in third overall as a team to qualify for the state tournament at the University of Maryland-College Park next week. Decatur also qualified several individual golfers for the states next week.
In the District Championships at the Green Hill Yacht and Country Club on Monday, Decatur finished in third place as a team with a combined score of 336 from its four lowest scorers. Easton finished first with a team score of 337 while Parkside came in second, barely edging the Seahawks with a 333. All three teams will be heading to College Park next week for the state championships.
Decatur was led again by Kyle Gebhart, who finished with a match-winning 75. Miller shot a 79 and Kyle’s brother Connor Gebhart shot an 88 to lead the Seahawks. Decatur needed a strong performance by Kevin McNelis in the fourth-spot on the team, and McNelis responded with a 95 to advance the Seahawks to the states.
In addition for the state championships as a team, Decatur is also sending a pair of female golfers to compete in the tournament as individuals. Susan Dillon qualified for the state tournament as an individual with a 103 in the District VIII championships, while Jenny Sullivan fired a 103 to advance to the state tournament next week.
The state championships get underway on Monday at the University of Maryland course in College Park. Because of revised classifications based on enrollment figures, Decatur moved up to Class 3A this year in all sports and the Decatur team and individual players will compete in the Class 3A-4A tournament, being the only school on the Eastern Shore in the high division. Other Bayside-District VIII school that qualified for the state tournament, such as Parkside and Easton, will continue to compete in the Class 2A tournament.