Tiebreaker playoff gives Tower Hill team golf state title

June 3, 2023

Tower Hill defeated Tatnall in an unprecedented six-golfer playoff for the DIAA team championship, held May 30-31 at Baywood Greens.

After two 18-hole rounds in windy, challenging conditions at the Long Neck course, the two Wilmington prep schools tied at 530 strokes for first place. 

Operating under DIAA rules, the two teams had their three best-scoring golfers for the May 31 round head back to the 18th tee for an aggregate score playoff. 

Tower Hill’s Avery McCrery, Sawyer Brockstedt and Michael Dignazio parred the hole. Tatnall’s Win Thomas, Matthew Homer and Jeffrey Homer made two pars and one bogey to finish second. 

Tower Hill head coach Kathy Franklin said she has coached high school golf for 23 years and there has never been a playoff for the team championship. DIAA officials confirmed that statement. 

“It’s great. The kids just did a fantastic job. We’ve lost to Tatnall the last couple years in regular dual matches, this year by 10 to 15 strokes. I’m happy for our kids. We certainly beat what was on paper the best team in the state. It’s just that it’s the scorecard that day that matters,” she said.

McCrery also won the girls’ individual championship with a fine performance, combining a one-under par 71 the first day with a stunning seven-under par 65 in the second round.

“I just felt really comfortable out there today,” she said. “I hit 18 greens in regulation. The ball-striking was really good. The course is in excellent shape.”

McCrery said she played a separate competition the week before, a practice-round tournament for the U.S. Women’s Amateur, and credited that experience. “I was competition ready and really in the zone,” she said. “I just felt really good out here.”

Meredith Finger of Wilmington Friends School finished second, followed by Danielle Higbee of Archmere Academy, Sarah Lydic of Indian River and Brockstedt.

Tatnall’s Thomas won the boys’ individual championship with a two-over par total. Matthew Homer took second, followed by Jeffrey Homer, Anthony Antao of Friends and Joshua Freeman of St. Georges Technical High School.

Archmere Academy finished third in the team competition, followed by Caesar Rodney, Charter School of Wilmington, Polytech High School, Salesianum, Sussex Academy and Cape Henlopen. 

Four high schools did not finish the team contest when not enough of their golfers made the cut for the second round: Appoquinimink High School, Delmarva Christian High School, Saint Mark’s High School and Friends.

Cape golf team pleased

Three Cape Henlopen High School golfers made the cut for the second round of the state championship, thus qualifying the Vikings for a team finish for the first time since 2019. 

Three other Vikings, Kingston Davis, Jacob Gabbard and Dalen Daminger, missed the cut after the first round.

Tyler Healy tied for 24th with his 85-86-171 total. “This was my first year making the cut, so it feels good,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll do it again next year. These were tough greens and hard to read. Fortunately, I had a few hot streaks.”

Ethan Mercer finished his high school golf career two strokes back and tied for 30th, improving his first-day 88 with an 85. “It was a good day today. I heated up a bit on the back nine,” he said.

Travers Johnson struggled to a last-place 50th spot among the boys after the second round. “I just kind of blacked out. I had trouble with my iron shots, putting and drives. Other than that,” he said with a smile.

Baywood receives high marks 

The Golf Association of Philadelphia administered the DIAA State Golf Championship, led by Laura Heien, GAP’s director of championship administration. 

Heien said GAP was pleased with Baywood Greens as this year’s tournament host.

“It’s fantastic. They’ve been incredibly supportive of all the juniors, especially with the practice rounds prior to championship week. The maintenance team crushed it; the greens are putting well, the course is in wonderful condition for the players. Obviously it’s been windy, so tough for the players, but it’s been a great two days.” 

Heien suggested other clubs should also host the championship in the future. “They should recognize the quality of play, with players under par. We’ve got great players in a team competition. [They should] consider showcasing the level of talent we have in Delaware and letting the kids take a shot at their course,” she said.

Local club competition results

The Mulligan’s Pointe Ladies 18-Hole group played a Criers game May 30. Ann Reid, Valerie Grib and Susan Gratcomb won the first division, with Kathy Marks, Mary Louise York and Pam Pichola winning the second division.

Forty-two golfers played the Kings Creek Country Club Ladies 9-Hole group one best of four team better ball game May 23.

Sara Cavendish, Deborah Grant, Pamela Cranston and Kathleen O'Connor won first place, with Christine Emery, Cathy Larrabee, Ann Bailey and Kaye Allison finishing second. 

Judy Rayner, Sandy Singer, Jen Walker and Kim Parks (blind draw) tied for third place with Kim Parks, Beth Andrews, Beth Cohen and Nancy Derrickson.


  • Fritz Schranck has been writing about the Cape Region's golf community since 1999. Snippets, stories and anecdotes from his columns are included in his new book, "Hole By Hole: Golf Stories from Delaware's Cape Region and Beyond," which is available at the Cape Gazette offices, Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, Biblion Books in Lewes, and local golf courses. His columns and book reviews are available at

    Contact Fritz by emailing

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter