By Larry Moko
Aidan McVey of the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves has punched his ticket to next week’s Ontario high school golf championships.
The Grade 12 student earned a berth to the prestigious OFSAA event by placing second in the individual high school player category at Tuesday’s Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference championships in Milton. There, on the Piper’s Heath layout, he qualified with a score of 86. The low mark among open players was 73 by Avery Mahoney of Burlington Notre Dame.
Joining McVey at Glen Eagle Golf Course in Bolton for Oct. 13-14 OFSAA will be the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association team from St. John Henry Newman. Enzo Cirone, (83) Brett Parker, (89) Thomas Sulug, (92) and Michael Romano, (96) came second behind Notre Dame at GHAC.
“I’m super happy about making OFSAA,” McVey said.
It’s his second try. McVey began playing high school golf in Grade 10 and, like everyone else, was deprived of the competitive athletics opportunity last season by COVID-19.
This fall, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic board got the ball rolling again by running three tournaments and booking another for next week. McVey fired a 77, 79 and 85 on those occasions while Cirone -- he took part in only the first two – shot 76, 78.
“It’s been a blessing,” McVey said of the return to normalcy in golf. “I’m not happy with my last couple of tournaments but I’ll keep pushing. Hopefully OFSAA goes well.”
Looking back on his round at GHAC, McVey said: “I started off slow but I finished strong. Super tough course. Super tough pins.”
McVey and Cirone are also veterans of the Hamilton Halton Junior Golf Tour. McVey finished fourth overall after the seven stops while Cirone was 10th.
“That went really well,” recalled McVey, who eventually hopes to land a U.S. college golf scholarship. He says putting is his strong point but, lately, his drives have been disappointing.
Giuseppe Pontillo, the HWCAA golf convener, points out that wet weather has led to difficult course conditions and high scores. Lift, clean and place rules, for example, were in effect yesterday.
“The courses have been very challenging,” the convener from Bishop Ryan said. “Obviously the conditions haven’t been ideal.”
But just being on the course is worth it.
“It’s wonderful we’re able to compete this year,” Pontillo said. “There was so much uncertainty because of COVID. The participants have been fantastic. Quite a good turnout. They’re grateful to be able to play.
“It’s really important for all kids to be active. It helps with mental health. Studies have shown it helps with performance at school as well.”
Sebastian Haazar of the St. Mary Crusaders was the other Hamilton-Wentworth individual player who qualified for GHAC. He shot 86 and narrowly missed advancing to the provincial championships.