Ethan Votraw of PHS sinks his final putt to capture the Section VII individual golf title May 25.
Plattsburgh High senior Ethan Votraw made his fifth Section VII team that will compete at the NYSPHSAA golf tournament this week.
What was new this time around was that Votraw will head to Cortland as the Section VII individual champion.
“I was hitting the ball well all day and kept playing good golf through the back nine,” Votraw said after carding a two-day 149, two strokes ahead of defending champion John Hickey of AuSable Valley at the Westport Country Club May 24-25.
“Coming into this tournament, the goal is always to get to states,” he said. “It’s awesome to finally win the tournament.”
The win capped a strong senior year for the Hornet standout, who was part of the soccer teams run to a sectional final and the basketballs state quarterfinal push.
“Soccer was a little bit of a letdown, because we wanted more,” Votraw said. “Basketball was a big plus and golf was a great season.”
Votraw said the key to his fifth trip to the state tournament will be improving on the greens.
“Last year I think I had like five three-putts,” Votraw said of his T-17 performance. “If I can putt better and hit the ball like I am, I should be able to improve on that finish. Like (AVCS coach Chris) Dubay always says, its just a golf course that you need to go out and play.”
Saranac Lake, who won the team title by 16 strokes over Elizabethtown-Lewis, had all six of their golfers playing on day two. Dustin Fischer, who birdied three holes on the back nine to card a 158 and Kyle Dora with a 166 both advanced to the state tournament, while Matt Clark (171) finished as the alternate for the second year. Ethan Sawyer (172), Devin Darrah (178) and Blake Gregory (189) also made the second day for the Red Storm.
The second place Lions placed two golfers into the state tournament, as Tyler White made his second state team with a 167 two-day score and Brock Marvin earned the ninth spot on the team with a 169.
“It was a fun two days and it was good to make it to states for the second year,” White said. “Last year, I went down trying to compete against all of these golfers in the state and found out that they were really good. This year, I just want to go down and golf my own game.”
“It was such a sporadic day but in the end, you can’t complain about it,” Marvin, who shot a 77 on the opening day, said. “I hit the ball well, I just had some bad breaks.”
Marvin said it was pleasing to accomplish the goal of making the state team.
“This was one of my goals throughout high school golf,” he said. “I have put in all of the hours that I could and here I am.”
Brock’s brother, Connor, opened with an 81 in his first full round of golf since heart transplant surgery. He finished with a 176, four shots off the pace for states.
“Not only was it awesome to see him out there, but to see him in contention through 27 holes was amazing,” Brock, who received a heart transplant in December of 2010, said. “The meds that you take make you shaky and you are still tired after laying in a hospital bed for so long, but he played through that. I’m sure this was a huge boost for him and he will be doing just fine next year.”
“I played well the first day,” Connor said. “I made putts on the first day, but then they were not falling. It’s good to be playing and good to be back.”
“He is eight weeks out of the hospital and had not done more then nine holes before this 36-hole event,” ELCS coach and Connor and Brock’s father, Smitty Marvin, said. “His golf game has been there and he proved it. It’s a dream come true to see them both out on the course healthy and in contention for the state team and individual title.”
Nolan Reid of Northeastern Clinton (153) finished third, while Beekmantown’s MaCullen Cope (168) was seventh and Plattsburgh High’s Lucas Wood (168) eighth.