Finally, Josh Hayes has a NOSSA gold medal to sit next to his SDSSAA championship trinkets - all three of them.
After succcessfully completing the three-peat at the city high-school golf championships last week, the grade 12 student at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School finally added NOSSA gold to the mix, recording a two stroke victory over teammates Johnny Svalina and Ethan Mulligan last week at the Lively Golf Club.
A round of 71 was enough to allow Hayes to emerge triumphant, as a half dozen young golfers broke 80 on the day: Svalina (73), Mulligan (73), Ryan Scarpellini (St Charles - 74), Nick Cundari (St Joseph Scollard Hall - 76) and Ben Fowke (St Charles - 77).
Dawn Longe of Elliot Lake Secondary School earned bragging rights in the girls bracket, carding in at 111, with the top five rounded out by city champion Mackenzie Selk (Horizon - 115), Karlyn Bennett (Elisabeth-Bruyère - 117), Vanessa Morris (Champlain - 122) and Izabel Timeriski (Elliot Lake SS - 122).
"I wanted to capture it in my last year, it was kind of on my high school golf goal list," acknowledged Hayes, who now sets his sights on the 2019 OFSAA Boys Golf Championship on October 16th and 17th in Kingsville (Kingsville Golf & Country Club).
"I've always struggled a little bit at NOSSA. I wanted to change that pattern."
Though separated by only a week, the golf conditions for the two local events, both hosted at the same venue, could not have been more diametrically opposed. "You know the weather is not going to be the greatest, it's going to be cold and rainy, most likely - fall golf," said Hayes.
"You just have to go out there and grind it out. On the last few holes, it was probably the worst rain I have ever played in. It would come in spurts, raining hard for a couple of minutes and then relax for a few minutes."
Only one time since the OFSAA golf championship was formalized in 2002-2003 has a NOSSA representative claimed a medal - Jacob Lacko of Lo-Ellen Park garnered silver last year in the high-school division - though Hayes is confident that might change on a couple of fronts this fall.
"Individually, my goal is to try and win it," he said. "If I play the kind of golf that I can play, I know that I have a shot at winning it. As a team, we have a great shot at winning it. Last year, we came a few shots out of third place, and our team last year was not as strong as this year."
Joining Hayes, Svalina and Mulligan in representing both Lo-Ellen and NOSSA in the team competition are Oliver Taillefer and Nik Harry.
The 2019 OFSAA Girls Golf Festival is also set to take place on October 16th/17th, with Pine Knot Golf and Country Club in Dorchester playing host to the young ladies.