Kaiserslautern pair take girls, boys golf crowns
By GREGORY BROOME | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 13, 2017
WIESBADEN, Germany — It’s been an ambition for three years. Now it’s a reality.
Kaiserslautern teammates Jasmin Acker and Kaden Senkbeil swept the 2017 DODEA-Europe golf championship meet Friday at Rheinblick Golf Course, making good on their last opportunity to deliver the matching Raider titles they’ve long targeted.
“Me and Jasmin have been talking about this since my freshman year,” Senkbeil said. “Every year we’ve been hyping it up. I’m so glad it’s finally here.”
The senior Acker claimed her third consecutive girls title to cap her impressive DODEA-Europe career. Senkbeil, after years of steady improvement, claimed his first championship as a junior.
Kaiserslautern had little chance to compete for a team title given the three total players it brought to the championship meet. So the Raiders sought another path to glory.
“The best-case scenario for us was two individual champions,” coach Chris Grogan said. “That’s what we got.”
Acker’s victory was all but assured after she built a comfortable eight-point lead through Thursday’s first round. Her dominance only escalated Friday.
The Raider star was confident and poised throughout Friday’s final 18 holes, posting an impressive 40 second-round points under the meet’s modified Stableford scoring system and coasting to a 19-point margin of victory.
As she completed her three-year dynasty in DODEA-Europe girls golf, Acker couldn’t help “reminiscing” on her remarkable DODEA-Europe career.
“It just made me kind of happy and sad at the same time,” Acker said.
Acker’s runaway performance put the onus on Senkbeil to deliver his side of the prospective Kaiserslautern sweep.
The Raider junior came into the final round clinging to a one-point lead over rival Jonathan Ciero of Ramstein. But Senkbeil owned the Rheinblick course Friday, sending soaring tee shots straight down the fairway and finishing off holes with a solid short game and precise putting. His 42 points Friday gave him 80 for the two-day meet and a six-point win over Ciero.
Senkbeil was exuberant after clinching his victory on the 18th green, pumping his fists and embracing coaches, family and teammates.
“I feel fantastic,” Senkbeil said.
Ramstein won both team competitions, paced by Ciero and girls runner-up Phoebe Shin. The Royals beat out Wiesbaden for the boys title and were the only team to field more than one girls player.
Shin described her meet as “rough” and was well aware of Acker’s growing advantage as the tournament progressed.
“I knew that I wasn’t really close,” said Shin, who expects to return next fall as an early favorite to succeed Acker as champion. “She definitely deserved to win.”
Ramstein 208, Wiesbaden 185, Kaiserslautern 117, Lakenheath 100, Stuttgart 94
1, Kaden Senkbeil (Kais) 38-42--80; 2, Jonathan Ciero (Ram) 37-37--74; 3, Bryan Cortese (Wies) 34-33--67; 4, Ben Todman (Ram) 27-36--63; 5, Jonah Galvan (Wies) 25-35--60; 6, Frank Whitworth (Stu) 29-29--58; 7, Finn Swafford (Wies) 25-33--58; 8, Payton Chandler (Ram) 15-24--39; 9, George Stephen (Kais) 16-21--37; 10, Ethan DeCarlo (Lake) 16-20--36.
Ramstein 125, Kaiserslautern 76, Stuttgart 52, Lakenheath 17
1, Jasmin Acker (Kais) 36-40--76; 2, Phoebe Shin (Ram) 28-29--57; 3, Sydney Smith (Stu) 27-25--52; 4, Lauren Sutherland (Ram) 17-27--44; 5, Isabelle Craige (Ram) 12-12--24; 6, Alexis Groves (Lake) 7-10--17.