Andrew Orischak's most notable tournament during Hilton Head Island High School's golf season might have been the one he missed.
The freshman decided to miss the Class 3-A Lower State tournament, which had been rescheduled, and compete in the U.S. Open local qualifier at his home Long Cove Club. He fired a 6-under-par 65 and was medalist of the qualifier and was still able to compete at the Class 3-A state tournament at Woodcreek in Columbia.
The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet Boys Golfer of the Year finished runner-up at the state tournament, shooting 71-73--144 to finish five shots behind individual champion Keenan Huskey. The Seahawks finished third in the team standings.
Orischak hopes to have an individual and team title by the team he finishes high school. He has plenty of time.
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"It'd be nice to share that with all the guys," Orischak said.
Orischak, who recently tied for second at the Blade Junior Championship in Greer, said team golf during the high school season requires a slightly different mindset, but that his approach is basically the same as playing some of the top junior events throughout the year.
"I'm still trying to play the course to my best ability," he said. "But it's kind of different in that everyone's trying to work together. You're teammates and everyone kind of leans on each other."
LANGHALS EARNS COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS
Doug Langhals admitted that this year, he led a charmed coaching life.
The leader of the two-time defending SCISAA state champion Hilton Head Christian Academy boys golf team had about as talented a squad as anyone could ask for. Still, someone has to supervise, has to motivate and coordinate team-building activities. And someone has to be there to drive a group of five players forward through the inevitable perils of every golf round.
No one did that better this year than Langhals. Blessed with a squad of five members of the Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette's all-area golf team, Langhals knew a second state title was well within reach. It was just a matter of getting that talent to pay off at the right time.
"I'm just blessed with a good group of kids," Langhals said. "They enjoy each other. I think the other thing is, we try to do a lot of things as a team outside of golf. That kind of builds team unity while they're on the course."
Never was that more apparent than in the state championship tournament, when each player cheered the others on, all while trying their best to top the individual standings.
"That is probably the biggest drive for those guys," Langhals said. "Their best competition is playing against each other."
When you add it all up, back-to-back titles make for quite the end product.
The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet All-Area Boys Golf Team
Player of the Year: Andrew Orischak, Hilton Head Island High School
Coach of the Year: Doug Langhals, Hilton Head Christian
Josh Fickes, Beaufort High
Alec Weary, Bluffton
Bryson Nimmer, Hilton Head Christian
Trace Crowe, Hilton Head Christian
Matt Lehman, Hilton Head Christian
R.J. Bartolomucci, Hilton Head Christian
Jonathan Schuble, Hilton Head Christian
Andrew Orischak, Hilton Head Island High School
Travis Mancill, Hilton Head Island High School
Walker Campbell, Hilton Head Prep