Five birdies carry Von Hagel to disc golf victory

Raynor moves into 3rd in MVP race
Doubles play resumes Jan. 16 in Cumberland

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CUMBERLAND — In hindsight, perhaps cleats should have been the prescribed footwear of the day.

Ethan Von Hagel

As it was, sneakers and boots proved less than capable of preventing slips and slides in the wet snow and mud that covered the disc golf course on Sunday afternoon at Central Assembly of God in Cumberland. Every one of those issues played a role in the success, or lack thereof, while teeing off, putting and everything in between.

Regardless of the conditions, though, one thing was clear: Every player had to play through the same issues of cold feet, cold hands and a lack of traction on every step. And Ethan Von Hagel seemed to weather the conditions better than anyone.

Von Hagel, 19, of Cumberland, threw for five birdies and made par on 12 others en route to a three-stroke victory in Week 11 of Western Maryland Disc Golf Fall/Winter Doubles League action. He finished with a round-low score of 51. The team off Bill Shreve, 45, of Cumberland, and Keith Raynor, 45, of Vale Summit, placed second with 54 while 19-year-old Frostburg residents Devon Spiker and Sam Wolodkin placed third with 63. Fellow Frostburg residents Kevin Spradlin, 42, and Josiah Spradlin, 12, placed fourth with a score of 68. Josiah Spradlin did not play the second half of Sunday’s round.

Keith Raynor

Von Hagel and six others ventured the hilly course, packed with snow and mud. Von Hagel arrived late to the course, and as the odd man out he played as an individual but was permitted a mulligan, or re-throw, once at each basket. The idea is to level the playing field for a standalone player compared to a team that has the strengths of both players to draw from.

After two baskets, though, Von Hagel was in last place. Team Shreve-Raynor and Team Spiker-Wolodkin were tied for first at 5, with the Spradlin duo one stroke off the pace. Von Hagel was one stroke behind the Spradlins. Von Hagel quickly got into a groove, however, and while Team Spiker-Wolodkin missed some putts they wish they could have back — it was the first time on the course during league play for either player since the Fall/Winter Doubles League began on Oct. 24, and the layoff seemed to show. What added insult to injury, though, was when a disc was thrown for a putt, missed, then landed upside down and slid down a hill, several feet from the basket.

Bill Shreve

Team Shreve-Raynor led Von Hagel by three strokes after the first five baskets, but Von Hagel birdied the wooded No. 6 while Shreve and Raynor bogeyed the hole. Von Hagel pulled into a tie for first on No. 7 with his second consecutive birdie. His third birdie in four tries, on No. 9, put him back into a tie with Team Shreve-Raynor after the front nine.

Von Hagel made birdie on No. 10, the first hole on the back nine and the first from the white tees, and never looked back.

MVP standings update

Von Hagel entered play on Sunday in 18th place with only two points in the Fall/Winter Doubles League race for Most Valuable Player. With the victory, Von Hagel earned five points and vaulted into ninth place with a total of seven points.

WMDG Fall/Winter Doubles League MVP standings after play on Jan. 9, 2022.

It was only the second time Von Hagel has participated in Fall/Winter Doubles League play this season. Shreve, who has played in 10 of 11 weeks — and won at least a share of first place five times — remains in first place with 40 points, increasing his leader over David Warder from three to seven points.

Raynor, meanwhile, earned four points (along with Shreve) to move past Scott Mallery into third place with 29 points to Mallery’s 28. Raynor has played in eight of the 11 weeks, including five consecutive Sunday afternoons.







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