by Tom Utescher
The fifth of the Inter-Ac League’s six regular-season tournament-style golf outings occurred last Wednesday afternoon at Bluestone Country Club, which is located in Blue Bell and was known as Meadowlands Country Club until 2016.
Located nearby, Germantown Academy was the host school for this event, but it was teams from the other side of the Schuylkill that took top honors. Each school sends out eight players on nine holes and then adds up its top six individual rounds to arrive at an official team score, and last week Episcopal Academy won out over runner-up Haverford School, 232 to 235.
The Churchmen were led by senior Ashton Dunn with a one-over-par 37, but the best individual score was the 33 turned in by Haverford’s David Hurly, a junior originally from South Africa.
Malvern Prep placed third with a tally of 238, and Penn Charter, led by senior Brian Isztwan’s one-under round of 35, came in fourth with a 243. The hosting GA Patriots landed in fifth place with a 268 as senior Drew Hoeppner carded a 43, and a 39 by junior Jake Webster paced Springside Chestnut Hill Academy to a score of 284 and a sixth-place outcome.
GA and SCH had ended up in those same positions in each of the previous four Inter-Ac gatherings, but Penn Charter’s fortunes have varied. In the opener on September 12, the Quakers took advantage of the location to win on their home course at Huntingdon Valley Country Club. Isztwan came in right on par with a 35, and PC put up a figure of 221 overall while EA and Haverford shared second with a pair of 224’s.
Haverford would triumph in the next three tourneys. In the first of these three encounters, the teams assembled on Springside Chestnut Hill’s stamping grounds at Sunnybrook Golf Club, where Charter came in third behind Malvern and GA and SCH settled into their five-six pattern.
On Malvern’s home course at Waynesborough Country Club, the host Friars actually finished fourth behind number three Penn Charter and runner-up Episcopal. PC and Malvern swapped places when the league teams next met at Gulph Mills Golf Club, where host Haverford made it three wins in a row.
That brought the Inter-Ac back over the river to Bluestone, where three-time runner-up Episcopal would break through to notch its first victory. While Haverford’s low individual score was four strokes better than EA’s (33 to 37), the Churchmen registered four other scores in the 30’s and had a high score of just 40. The Fords had three rounds in the 30’s overall and included a 44 in their final reckoning.
In addition to Isztwan, Penn Charter had Dante DiStefano break 40 with a 39, and close behind were fellow seniors Matt Barkann (40) and Noah Schwartz (41) and junior Dylan Topaz (42). The Quakers’ score was completed by a round of 46 for Isztwan’s younger brother, Patrick. This was not one of his best showings, and he’s been having a strong freshman season overall.
In the six scores that counted for Germantown Academy, just three strokes separated the high and low number produced by the Patriot pack. Coming in one stroke behind Hoeppner with a 44, senior Ryan Booth preceded three teammates who shared a score of 45, junior Nick Schnur and sophomores Eric Lafond and Dante Messina. A 46 by junior Sean Keenan locked in Germantown’s final score.
Although the SCH effort was spearheaded by Webster with a round in the 30’s, the Blue Devils’ scores after that climbed too far for them to remain in contention. Senior Jared Yetter came to the clubhouse with a 43, and junior Dan Levin and sophomore Justin Dougherty each turned in a 47. The team score was rounded out with a 52 from freshman Andrew Lauerman and a 56 from sophomore Chris Yarish.