Pam Pack runs away with regional golf title

Published 10:12 pm Monday, May 1, 2017

WILSON — Washington’s golf team has been dominant over much of the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference and regional competition for a few years now. Even so, the Pam Pack has been raising its own high bar all spring long.

It continued to do just that by dominating the rest of the competition in the east. Tony Lovenberg and Riley VanStaalduinen both shot 77, tying each other for the regional low. The two had a playoff to decide first, which Lovenberg won on the second hole. His effort on Monday was a career best.

As a team, the Pam Pack shot 320 to win its third-straight 2-A regional championship. Behind Lovenberg and VanStaalduinen were Patrick Lovenberg (82), Tripp Barfield (84) and Blake Parker (89).

“Of the three we won, this is the best we’ve shot,” coach Jim Kozuch said. It was one stroke better than the previous best. “We actually shot exactly what we shot in the practice round. I told the guys that if we shot that, we’ll be all set. It was a windy day. … Our boys are familiar with the golf course. They just stepped up and played.”

EPC foe North Johnston ranked behind Washington with a 352 team score. Croatan finished with a 358 to place third and claim the final spot at the state championship.

Washington will take place in the Beaufort County Cup on Thursday. Southside, Northside and Pungo will take part, too, as the Pam Pack and Panthers get a relaxed tune up ahead of their respective state-championship matches.

“I think we’ll have some fun. In that one, it’s always nice to win and keep the cup for another year,” Kozuch said. “Even if we don’t, it’ll be good to have a lot of fun with the guys. We’ll have some good pairings and they’ll have some fun. It’s good for the schools to come together and celebrate the game of golf a little bit.”

Kozuch said that, while he’s not sure what the rest of the field will be yet for the state championship, he is aiming for a top-five finish.