Golf team succeeds with their highest state placement ever and with their charitable giving through Birdies for Bucks
December 20, 2019
Golf team scores big with Birdies 4 Bucks
It’s no question that the York boys golf team enjoyed a lot of success on the course, as they placed 4th in state for the 2019 season. However, the most impressive thing about them is the work that they’ve done off the course.
Juniors Dylan Stockwell and Connor Polomsky have worked with the golf team to raise over $10,000 for a local group called Access Sports, an organization that sets up team sports activities for kids with special needs. Their organization, called Birdies for Bucks, stemmed from both Stockwell and Polomsky’s previous involvement with Access Sports.
“Because we both have been involved in Access Sports and because we’re both on golf, it made sense to start Birdies for Bucks,” Polomsky said.
The golfers raised money for Birdies for Bucks through a system in which donors could either donate a certain amount of money per match throughout the season, or donate an amount of money for every birdie that the team scored throughout the season.
“Our first goal was to try and see how much money we could get by just counting the birdies that our team made,” Stockwell said. “But then most of our donations were flat donations from families that Connor and I knew.”
Throughout the team’s 10 match regular season, the organization was very successful. When the team made the playoffs, the organization’s donors came with them, giving money throughout the team’s run to the state finals.
Although the organization is run only by Stockwell and Polomsky, the entire boys golf community was very supportive of the organization, and did everything they could to help out.
“[Head Coach Jim Borel] was very supportive of what we wanted to do and kept track of birdies, so we could give a final total to anyone sponsoring per birdie,” Polomsky said. “The guys on our team wanted to help too and were good with having their birdies count in the total.”
Borel was behind the boys from the start, and helped to make sure the fundraising ran smoothly.
“They came to me with [Birdies for Bucks] and I was totally supportive from the get-go,” Borel said. “I was willing to do everything I could to help them.”
With all the support they got, Birdies for Bucks was a huge success, raising $12,081 and still counting as of Nov. 11, 2019. Although Birdies for Bucks isn’t a non-profit organization yet, Polomsky and Stockwell would like to hopefully continue to grow the organization. If you are considering donating in the future or would simply like to learn more, you can follow the group on Twitter at @ElmBirdies4
Boys golf sets all-time best at state meet
This past fall, the boys golf team enjoyed their most successful season ever. After the regular season, they went on a run that started with placing first at both the conference and regional meets. They then moved on to sectionals, where they placed third, before placing fourth overall at the state meet, their best finish in history. This success was largely thanks to seniors Josh LaBounty and Matt Buckley, who both ended up placing third and sixth at state respectively.
“Placing third as an individual felt really special because it is the best in school history,” LaBounty said. “The same goes for the team. We all worked really hard this season and knew we had a good chance to place.”
This record breaking performance, both as a team and individually for LaBounty, was something that the whole team took pride in.
“To be six over par through five holes and come back to get to even, that’s a major accomplishment for a high school golfer,” Head Coach Jim Borel said regarding LaBounty’s performance.
Along with the outstanding performances of LaBounty and Buckley, another factor for the success of this team was how close they were to one another, and how they were supportive of each other whether a teammate was having a great day or struggling.
“I credit my success to my teammates because we always fought for each other and kept each other accountable for what we did,” Buckley said. “When our teammates were not playing well Josh and I told the guys to keep fighting and to find a way to grind out a good round.”
The lessons the team has learned through their season will help the returning golfers to reach even greater heights next year. The juniors and underclassmen put the team in a very good position for more playoff contention and a bright future.
“Next year’s team could eclipse this year,” Borel said. “We’ll see how good we are, but we’re pretty excited about next year’s team.”