Make that three.
After winning Niagara-Orleans League championships in 2011 and 2012, the Barker golf team rolled through the 2013 regular season with a 13-0-1 record, marked by consistent play from cornerstone athletes Brad Wilson, Alonzo St. Louis and Mitch Luckman.
For coach Tim Daley and his squad, the Raiders’ final challenge in the quest for a three-peat came yesterday at Willowbrook, in the all-league tournament that brought together all eight N-O teams for 18 holes of play. Heading into the all-league, Barker maintained a comfortable seven-point lead in the standings and had the title all but secured, but Daley cautioned his team to take nothing for granted.
The players heeded their coach’s message quite well. Wilson shot 79, St. Louis shot 83, and the Raiders’ five-man score of 453 was enough for a 23-stroke victory over Newfane, on an overcast but pleasant afternoon on Willowbrook’s North and South courses.
Once again, the Raiders are Niagara-Orleans League champs.
“It feels great,” Daley said. “I’m happy for the kids; they’ve put in a lot of effort this year. It’s been a three-year process, and it all goes back to our seniors this year, who started as freshmen and worked hard throughout those four years. Getting to where we’re at today, I’m really excited for them. It’s been fun to see them grow.”
Daley fondly reflected on the time spent watching his core group of seniors develop — in particular, Luckman, St. Louis and the injured Nick Provencher. When the group started as freshmen, Barker was stuck in neutral as a team, frequently finishing in the middle of the pack in Niagara-Orleans League play.
Then in the 2011 season, after a 3-5 start, the Raiders won their last six matches of the regular season and the league championship. Barker hasn’t lost a match since.