Spradlin wins close vote for Player of the Month

Davis 2nd, Warder 3rd

* Player of the Year: Coming soon
* December: Noah Spradlin
* November: Colby Mallery
* October: Bill Shreve
* September: Lily Lick
* August: Scott Mallery
* July: Ethan Barney
* June: Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang
* Allegany County Disc Golf Club on Facebook
* Winter Doubles League begins Jan. 1
2022 Year in Review
* 2023: A Look Ahead

FROSTBURG — Voting for the Allegany County Disc Golf Club’s Player of the Month award for December came down to a single vote.

After all, the club doesn’t believe in ties.

“Big Noah” Spradlin edged “Little Noah” Davis — how they are affectionately referred to when they are on the same card — among the four-person voting panel to win the award with 18 points to 17 points for Davis. Each player received two first-place votes. Spradlin also received two votes for second, while Davis received one second and one third. Each voter cast their ballot in a ranked-choice system: five points for first place, four for second, three for third and two for fourth.

Noah Spradlin on the No. 7 tee pad at The Glades.

David Warder, 32, of Frostburg, was third with 12 points and Ethan von Hagel, 20, of Cumberland, rounded out the four-contender voting with nine points. Spradlin becomes the first Rec Division player to win the award, a recognition bestowed upon one player each month since June 2022.

There are numerous reasons why the voting was so close this time. Both Spradlin, 23, of Frostburg, and Davis, 8, of Frostburg, participated in five club events throughout December. In addition, arguably the biggest highlight of the month for either player was one in which the two were teammates.

In Week 7 of Fall Doubles League at The Glades at Meshach Run in Accident, Davis moved up to the Rec Division from Youth Division in order to complete a four-team field. On one side, it was Davis and Spradlin. On the other side happened to be two players with more experienced than either Davis or Spradlin: Oakland residents Nicholas Willmon, 28, and Matthew Marsh, 20.

On the front nine, the alternate was best shot. the two teams were tied at the midway point. Whereas Spradlin offered his team distance, Davis excelled in putting to keep his team in contention.

On the back nine, Davis fell off — ever so slightly — as the format changed to alternate shot. That coincided with Spradlin’s putts finding the basket more often than usual. On No. 10, the two found themselves with a five-stroke lead after Willmon and Marsh found trouble in the tree tunnel.

Over the next eight baskets, Willmon and Marsh did all they could to climb back into contention. If they’d had a couple more baskets, they might have clawed back to the win. As it was, though, Spradlin and Davis held them off for the rather surprising Rec Division victory.

Spradlin followed that performance up with a convincing division win in Week 8 at Mile Lane Disc Golf Course over Jay Goodman, 20, of Frostburg, and little brother Josiah Spradlin, 13. Once again, Noah Spradlin’s drives helped lock down the eight-stroke victory against two opponents with similar experience.

Spradlin, who began playing disc golf on a regular basis in June with the start of the Summer Flex League, also played his first three glow rounds of his disc golf life and earned two third-place finishes and one fourth-place finish.

As Player of the Month, Spradlin will receive a prize valued at up to $15.

Noah Davis

Like Spradlin, Davis also played in his first glow round and took third. In Week 8, Davis had time to play nine baskets before moving on to another activity. He made the most of his time, though, as it was the first time he threw under par. The club adjusts the par standard for players 12 and under. Par on Nos. 1-9 from the short tees is a 37 and Davis logged a 36.

Noah Davis attempts a putt in front of a frozen pond on No. 7 at The Glades.

Aside from Week 7, Davis capped the month and the year with a come-from-behind victory glow round on New Year’s Eve at Mile Lane. He and cousin Jackson Griffith trailed Luke Spradlin-Vogelsang by one stroke after the front nine. Davis stepped up his game over the back nine and shaved five strokes off the arguably more difficult section of the course. He shot a four under par 35 over the second half and finished with a one under par 75 overall.

Davis teamed up with Spradlin-Vogelsang for a Youth Division win in Week 9. In a best shot format at Central in Cumberland, the pair finished six under par.

David Warder

David Warder has been a part of an awful lot of playoff disc golf in recent weeks.

He and teammate Colby Mallery, 19, of Mount Savage, came out a stroke short in Week 7. In Week 8, the two — paired up randomly once again — left nothing to chance and earned a four-stroke Fall Doubles League win.

Warder also was in first place in a December glow round, but had to leave the course early to meet other obligations.

In Week 9 of FDL, though, Warder and Mallery (yup, they were together again) overcome a four-stroke deficit after 13 of 21 baskets at Central en route to a one-stroke victory decided on hole No. 22. The expected layout was 21 holes, including the traditional 18 plus three more from the short tees in the woods, but for Warder (and Mallery), it seems the original expectation sometimes isn’t good enough.

It was decided that the playoff hole would be from the corner of the soccer field fence to basket No. 2. While the younger Mallery overthrew the basket, Warder parked it. Opponents Scott Mallery and Bill Shreve, meanwhile, threw decent lines but simply couldn’t match the other team’s distance.

David Warder drives from No. 13 at Central.

In addition to his on-course performance, Warder’s been hard at work with some off-course administrative efforts that will benefit the entire disc golf community. Warder has coordinated the area’s first organized putting league that is scheduled to begin Thursday, Jan. 12 at Living Waters Church Community Life Center in Lonaconing. The events are free, begin at 6 p.m. and will run weekly through March 9.

Further, Warder spearheaded a new, private course at the Lonaconing church. The nine-basket layout offers a number of challenges for experienced and beginning players alike.

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