‘Three Ps’ earn youngster Player of the Month honors

Youth player exhibits patience, personality and performance

* Youth Disc Golf Clinic –  July 3
* Summer Flex League – Week 3 (July 1-4)
* Allegany County Disc Golf Club on Facebook

For AlleganyPlayground.com

FROSTBURG — Longtime professional disc golfer Scott Stokely knew, while playing a tournament over the past weekend in Minnesota, that his play was not quite up to par. In fact, his most recent round was 15 over par — hardly up to his own standard, or even that of the legion of loyal fans he has attracted since turning pro in 1985.

“Today was interesting,” Stokely shared on this Facebook page. “I shouldn’t have played.”

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Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang, 9, reacts to an almost-made-it putt at Mile Lane Disc Golf Course in Mount Savage.

Instead of his own score, though, Stokely’s priority while on the course took a quick pivot.

“Today became all about just making sure my play wasn’t negatively affecting my group,” he concluded.

One week earlier, Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang had pretty much taken the same approach. Modeling the behavior of the 53-year-old professional, Spradlin-Vogelsang was on a roll on June 18 during a Summer Flex League round at Mile Lane Disc Golf in Mount Savage. He threw a 73, eight strokes better than his previous best of 81 — the latter a mark thrown on an arguably easier course.

Two days later, the Beall Elementary School fourth-grader was back at Mile Lane for another Flex League round. He had high expectations, but the only thing going up that day was the number of strokes by his name on the uDisc app. Through the front nine, he was already seven strokes off the pace he had set just two days earlier, capped by a triple bogey on No. 9. He finished with an 86. And yet, when he nearly made a putt on No. 13 — longer after there was no chance of matching his personal best — he didn’t scoff, complain or hang his head. Instead, he threw his arms up in triumph and offered a big grin. The disc had, after all, hit the chains on a basket he had normally found it difficult to reach.

The young man’s consistent exhibition of patience, personality and performance helped him earn the top spot from the three-person voting panel for the Allegany County Disc Golf Club’s inaugural Player of the Month award. Spradlin-Vogelsang, who played in all three club events in June and invited friends who have never played before to throw some plastic — including having a disc golf-themed birthday party — will receive a gift certificate to Ryan’s Disc Golf Stop retail store in Accident.

Spradlin-Vogelsang placed third in the youth division in Week 1 of the Summer Flex League, second in Week 2 and tied for fourth in the Par 2 Invitational.

Spradlin-Vogelsang, 9, is exactly the type of player anyone could want as a card mate — one who seeks continual improvement, one who remains positive in any given situation, and one who seeks to share the game with friends. He has enough experience and confidence to demonstrate to others ways they might be able to improve their throwing technique.

Fifteen players participated in the club’s Summer Flex League in Week 1, and 18 players finished at least one round in Week 2. Another 10 players competed in the Par 2 Invitational, which doubled as Spradlin-Vogelsang’s birthday celebration.

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Josiah Spradlin, 12, finished second in Player of the Month voting, posting three division wins in as many events in the month of June.

Three panelists voted on five candidates in a ranked choice system — with each candidate receiving a score of 1 (the preferred winner) through 5 (the fifth-preferred winner for that particular voter). Summaries for each player were provided to voters, who were not provided the players’ names.

As it is in disc golf, the person with the lowest score earned the award. Spradlin-Vogelsang earned two of three possible first-place votes and finished with a total score of five. Big brother Josiah Spradlin, 12, finished second in voting with eight points, while the only other person to receive a first-place vote — Kalyi Kline — tied with Krystal Mallery — for third with nine points apiece. Rounding out the field of candidates was Karli Huff, who finished with 14 points.

Spradlin played in three club events and won his division three times. Like his younger brother, he shared his sport with friends — inviting baseball teammate Kaleb Logan in SFL Week 1, and Karli Huff in Week 2.

Kline, 14, threw plastic for the first time in her young life and found some success with putting in the second half of the nine-hole Par 2 Invitational at Central. She worked through some difficulties early on but began to figure things out — and rightfully recognized her own improvements when she made them.

Mallery, 50, of Mount Savage, played through what she thought was merely arthritis-related pain and discomfort in Week 2 of SFL action. It was the first known 18-hole league round of her life. Though her issues proved to be far more serious, Mallery persevered and her smile never wavered. Her support for the game and those who play it on a regular basis.

Huff, 12, of Frostburg, was introduced to disc golf while her brother played baseball. Huff threw plastic for the first time in the parking lot at Frostburg Community Park. On the course at Mile Lane, discs she threw (a) almost nailed a photographer, (b) landed high up in a tree and (c) landed in a baby swing in the front yard. Still, she persisted and became the key (read: first) person to complete the fourth and final category of the Allegany County Disc Golf Club’s girls division.

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Kalyi Kline, 14, of Frostburg, finished in a tie with Krystal Mallery, 50, of Mount Savage, for third in the inaugural Allegany County Disc Golf Club Player of the Month award.

Spradlin-Vogelsang, meanwhile, first picked up a disc in December 2020, and has been playing disc golf regularly since August 2021. He does not like to play when it is raining or when there is mud on the course, which ruled out many opportunities over Winter 2021-22. He proudly claims soccer as his No. 1 sport, but disc golf is close behind. He enjoys the game most when he has other people to play with.

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Karli Huff, 12, finished fifth in voting for the club’s first Player of the Month award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patience, personality, performance earns Player of the Month honors

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, Outdoors, Sports

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