There may never have been a better-prepared squad than the ones that Section VI boys golf director Nate Leary (Orchard Park HS Coach, @OPGolfCoach on Twitter) and his coaching brethren assemble each spring. On the eve of the 2016 NYSPHSAA boys golf championships at Cornell University’s Robert Trent Jones, Sr. golf course, the fellows put in a final hour on the putting green

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then watched as seniors Nolan Ditcher (Randolph) and Ben Reichert (Williamsville North) were honored for extreme success at the state level.




As the final hours of Saturday evening waned, the squad put together some thoughts on what the experience of qualifying for NYSPHSAA championships and representing Section VI, their schools and families means to them. In the unedited words of  youth, here is what the golfers (Nolan Ditcher (12, Randolph), Matt Pawlak (11, Niagara Wheatfield), Mitchell Smith (11, Orchard Park), Connor Seeley (11, Wilson), Ben Reichert (12, Williamsville North), Cary Ignaczak (11, Lake Shore), Jack Devic (12, Orchard Park), Cameron Eddy (12, Ellicottville) and Alex Fisher (12, Ellicottville) had to say:

From Mitchell Smith: “[Jack Devic is basically asleep but] I’ve really enjoyed my time here, the food is awesome and no limit which is what I like to hear. I’m just going to try and keep the ball in front of me and try to avoid big numbers. Just play my game and see where it stacks up”

From Connor Seeley: “My experience here has been great. I’ve never played in a tournament like it. And going into the first round the nerves are going to be the deciding factor of how I play, I need to play my game and my game only, and if I do that I’m expecting to be top 20 or better”

From Cary Ignaczak: “I’m pumped”  “It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you down. It’s the pebble in your shoe.”- Muhammad Ali”

From Cam Eddy: “I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing environment to be around. The experience has already been unforgettable. I fully expect to play well and shoot a good score.”  “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.”

– Derek Jeter”
From Ben Reichert: “This is my 4th time here so I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Looking forward to the opportunity “
From Alex Fisher: “It’s a blast being here, it helps that I know two people on my team (Nolan Ditcher and Cameron Eddy) very well, I’ve play golf with both of them since I was like 10 years old. Thing is you have 8 players on your team that love the game just as much as you do. Golf is a gentleman’s game, and that’s how our team is. We have great respect for each other. We all deserve to be here, and we’re greatful to have the opportunity to represent Section 6. Now getting to the golf course, I love this course. The way this course looks in my eyes is exciting. At sectionals (River Oaks) the course looks bad through my eyes and I couldn’t figure out what to do. I had a hard time committing to my shots. I’ll admit if it wasn’t for Ben I might not like this course as much. My first day playing the course I was paired with Ben, and he pretty much dissected the course for me. A huge thanks goes the him. I’m prepared for tomorrow and Monday. Many people didn’t think I’d make it this far being committed to both the golf team and the baseball team. I definitely want to show the people who told me I couldn’t be here that I belong. I said it before, I want to impress this week.”
From Nolan Ditcher: “States has been a great experience, just like in years past. Getting to know the guys has been fun. We’ve had good weather for the practice rounds and hopefully some of the newer guys have been able to get a good grasp of the course.” Being my fifth and last year here, I know I don’t have a whole lot to prove to anyone but myself. I know well from my past experience here that expectations as far as score or place usually just lead to more pressure and nerves. My goal is to go out there tomorrow, keep my swing in good tempo and hit the ball solid. And, of course, to enjoy my last high school golf state championship.”
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