Hampton, Sander, Hutter among Little Piggy Flex Tnmt winners

Barber, Buehner top women’s divisions

FROSTBURG — Sixteen players completed 25 rounds of nine baskets on Saturday during the inaugural Little Piggy Flex Tournament at Hoffman Park Disc Golf Course in Frostburg.

The event was a part of the Pig Out in the Park food festival and barbecue competition which serves as a fundraiser for FrostburgFirst, a Main Street organization dedicated to promoting all that the Mountain City has to offer.

On Saturday on the course, though, the players themselves gave all they had.

Sterling Stewart caps off his round with a putt.

For nine of the 16 players, it was their first time at Hoffman Park DGC. For three of them, they were better prepared than most new players to throw around or over any obstacle. That’s because they were ambidextrous. Calvin Sander, Jeremy Hampton and Sterling Stewart are each able to accentuate their athletic talent by throwing with either hand. In the world of disc golf, the more tools a player has in the pocket to scramble out of the woods, the better.

Each player used that extra tool to their advantage, as all three finished in the top two of their respective divisions on the day. Prizes and divisions were divided by gender but also playing experience. Players were permitted to complete as many rounds of nine baskets as they wanted, with their best score counting for the flex tournament. In addition, those who completed two or more rounds would have their final two rounds of nine double as their Summer Flex League round for Week 9 competition (see schedule below).

The Allegany County Disc Golf Club awarded 12 free discs to 10 division winners and two second-place finishers as the club facilitated participation in the food festival for the first time. Along with the ongoing Summer Flex League and Fall Youth League that starts in September — both free to play — the club will next have a putting and closest-to-the-pin contests set up at the Western Maryland Craft Beverage Festival on Sunday, Sept. 3 at Hoffman Park.

Both the flex tournament on Saturday, and the putting and CTP contests on Sept. 3, are free to all players.

On Saturday, scores were recorded for posterity and to provide a baseline of what comes next. And for some players, at least, there will definitely be another round soon.

Youth Divisions

The Youth Division was dominated by the boys on Saturday — following a national trend of hoping to recruit more females of all ages into the game. In the 0 to 60 days’ experience division, 12-year-old Jeremiah Hampton, of Cresaptown, led the field with a four over par 31. That’s not even the remarkable part. The two-arm-using, multi-sport athlete (he also plays baseball, basketball and soccer) improved by four strokes from his first round of 35. On his second round, Hampton threw for par six times (66.7 percent), two bogeys and one double bogey. He ran into trouble on No. 7, which offers a multitude of trees on each side of the fairway.

Sterling Stewart, 9, of Frostburg — and another ambidextrous player — finished second with a 64. The Beall Elementary School student had never played disc golf before. Stewart struggled with accuracy at times, but the spin and technique, along with having more than a little fun, helped to carry him through nine baskets on what turned out to be the final group of the afternoon. Stewart’s best hole was No. 7, where he carded a double bogey. The club is hopeful both young men play in the Fall Youth League starting on Sept. 4.

Liam Hutter, newly 13, of Frostburg, won the 61 days to 365 days division. Hutter, a rising eighth grader at Mount Savage Middle School student and, like Hampton, a soccer player, was introduced to disc golf in mid-May when the Allegany County Disc Golf Club facilitated six days of physical education classes at his school. Hutter was one of nearly a dozen Mount Savage Middle School students who participated in the club’s Summer Youth League and the ongoing Summer Flex League.

Hutter’s experience — and his ever-improving sidearm delivery — was on full display. Hutter threw for par on three of nine baskets (33.3 percent) and managed bogeys on three others. Nos. 4 and 5, statistically the most difficult two holes on the course, continue to draw Hutter’s ire as it took him 11 strokes to complete the two baskets. Combined, the two holes cover 443 feet and are the two longest holes on the course.

It was a very close race in the 366 days to 730 days division. A pair of Frostburg friends, former soccer teammates and frequent disc golf partners — Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang, 10, and Noah Davis, 9 — challenged each other and what a challenge it was. Spradlin-Vogelsang laid down a 28, including two birdies and throwing for par four other times, in an early grouping. There, Davis tallied one birdie (No. 2) and threw for par twice.

Sonja Barber on the No. 1 tee.

Two groups later, Spradlin-Vogelsang and Davis were on the same card. They finished only four strokes apart (31 to Spradlin-Vogelsang and 35 to Davis), and the competition was far from over. Davis decided to play a second round and offered his best performance yet. Davis finished with a birdie (No. 9), and threw for par five other times. He still wasn’t done, though. While Spradlin-Vogelsang rested on his 28, Davis tried one more time. As part of the final group of the day, Davis threw for a birdie on a difficult No. 3 — using his MVP Glitch to perfection on the drive — and saved par on five occasions en route to a 29, only one stroke off his friend’s best on the day.

In the 731 days-plus division, Josiah Spradlin, 13, of Frostburg, cruised to victory with an even par 27, a score he tallied twice on the afternoon. Spradlin, the club’s Player of the Month in July, went undefeated last month with seven individual victories and a tie for the win in an eighth event.

Men’s Divisions

In the 0-60 days division, friends and card mates Calvin Sander and Paolo Nipay completed the second round of the afternoon and the pair finished only two strokes apart. The ambidextrous Sander, 26, of Keyser, W.Va., threw for par on four baskets (44.4 percent) for the win. Nipay, 23, of Cumberland, threw for par twice and managed bogeys on six of nine baskets to stay close. Nipay edged Sander by a single stroke, four to five, on No. 5 (223 feet with a slight uphill slope).

John Hampton, 39, of Cresaptown, finished third in the division with a 36. Hampton threw for par three times and managed bogeys on four other occasions. He ran into a few trees on Nos. 1 and 4, but otherwise largely stuck to the fairways as he navigated the first and only public disc golf course in Allegany County for the first time.

Brian Padovini, 42, of Frostburg — arguably the club’s most attentive students of the game in his 10 weeks of disc golf experience — cruised to a win in the 61-365 days division. Padovini’s first round of the day was his best, as he cared three birdies and saved par on five baskets for a two under par 25. Padovini began playing in June, shortly after his son Evan Padovini, 12, returned home from Mount Savage Middle School one day and shared his gym class disc golf experience with his family. Both have been staples to the club’s attendance records since.

Noah Spradlin, 24, of Frostburg, won the 366-730 days division with a two under par 25. Spradlin managed three birdies — on Nos. 2, 3 and 7 — and saved par five other times.

Kevin Spradlin, 44, of Frostburg, placed first in the 731 days-plus division with a 24. Spradlin threw four birdies and only one bogey en route to the low score on the afternoon. Ben Edkin, 38, of Lebanon, Pa., was second with an even par 27 on his first time at Hoffman Park DGC. Edkin threw for two birdies — on Nos. 2 and 8 — and carded par scores on five other baskets. Two groups later, Edkin returned and threw another 27, this time with birdies on Nos. 6 and 8. Ry Keighin, 25, of Frostburg, earned a third-place finish with a 35. Keighin saved par on three baskets, including No. 5 — which is, statistically since the course opened on May 14, 2023, the most difficult of the nine baskets. Keighin also therw for four bogeys.

Women’s Divisions

Sonja Barber, 25, of Frostburg, recorded the best mark in the Women’s Division on the day with a 37. Barber was assigned to the 0-730 days experience category and carded par on Nos. 1 and 9, with bogeys on Nos. 2, 3, 5 and 7 to help her cause.

Katie Buehner, 38, of Frostburg, returned to the game after year-long layoff and threw a 43 in her first round at Hoffman Park DGC. Buehner’s game goes back to the OG on the block, the Western Maryland Disc Golf group. Buehner said she began playing around 2015 or so in league play at the first course in Allegany County, at Liberty Christian Fellowship in Cresaptown. The course was designed by Jim Buser and featured only a two or three baskets but multiple approaches to each allowed for a nine-hole layout, Buehner said.

Times have changed since Buehner began playing. Along with Hoffman Park DGC — again, the first public disc golf course in Allegany County — there are private courses in Mount Savage (Mile Lane Disc Golf), Cumberland (Central Assembly of God), Lonaconing (Living Waters) and Little Orleans (Locust Post Brewery).

Official results of the inaugural Little Piggy Flex Tournament at Hoffman Park Disc Golf Course in Frostburg.

Noah Davis with a putt on No. 4.

Liam Hutter on the No. 5 tee.

Sterling Stewart caps off his round with a putt.

Sonja Barber on the No. 1 tee.




Filed in: Latest Headlines, Outdoors, Sports

You might like:

SFL finale: Playoff disc golf required SFL finale: Playoff disc golf required
Shreve takes by No. 1 tag with win over Mallery, SMTL field Shreve takes by No. 1 tag with win over Mallery, SMTL field
Doubles play featured in Fall Youth League Week 4 Doubles play featured in Fall Youth League Week 4
MVP Space Race event, Fall Doubles League opener to combine at Ditto on Oct. 22 MVP Space Race event, Fall Doubles League opener to combine at Ditto on Oct. 22
© 2023 AlleganyPlayground.com. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.