By Mark Motter

Oilers Region 4 golf champs (from left); Jacob Teeter, Charlie Motter, Will McMahon, Jake Hornbeck, Connor Highfield and Logan Loughran.

Here's what's going on this fall

(Updated Sept. 30)


None of the local golfers made the cut Sept. 30 in the3 District 10 AA tournament at Meadville Country Club. Two juniors, Frankln's Aiden McCracken and Oil Cuty's Charlie Motter, shot 89s, while Oil City senior Connor Highfield came in at 93. Aaron Wetjen, a sophomore from Rocky Grove, shot 100, and Franklin senior Avery Purich closed at 101. Lakeview upset Grove City by a stroke for the team title.


Golf got off to the earliest start -- Aug. 12. Since then Oil City won its first league/region title since 1971. The Oilers, Franklin, and Rocky Grove are all in the same region. The Knights have been the  biggest challenge for the inconsistent Oilers. In fact, the Knights took the Venango Cup at Wanango and as recently as Sept. 23, the 17-team Bill Mook Invitational, also at Wanango.

Titusville, Rocky Grove and Conneaut round out the region, normally finishing in that order.

Aiden McCracken, Ryan McCandless and Avery Purich are Franklin's top golfers. Charlie Motter and Connor Highfield usually lead the Oilers. Aaron Wetjen, who shot a hole-in-one in a non-scholastic outing at Wanango, headlines the Orioles, along with Alex Zinz.

Cranberry is a middle-of-the-pack team in the Keystone Shortway Conference. The Berries' top golfers are Dane Wenner, Dalton Wenner and Cayden Baker.

Cranberry also fields a girls team and is generally runner-up in the KSAC mega matches. Brooke Whitling is the Berries' top player.


Neither Oil City nor Franklin are having great seasons. The Oilers are a little better and have bested the winless Knights. Emily Russell plays No. 1 singles for Oil City, which is 3-5 as of Sept. 27 after a 5-0 loss to Grove City..


Franklin's Gage Haniwalt, a Rocky Grove student, was listed among the pre-season Player to Watch by the Erie Times News. In fact, he had a five-goal game in a match with Saegertown. Nathan Pfenningwerth scored four goals for the Knights  in a 7-0 shutout of Titusville Sept. 21.  The Knights are 6-3-1. The Franklin girls (2-6-1) have had their moments, but both Oil City squads continue to struggle, although the Oilers did blank Keystone, 2-0, on Sept. 24. Oil City is in a co-op with Cranberry.


Franklin is 8-4 overall as of Sept. 29 after Reynolds handed the Knights their second straight loss. Sydni Hoobler, Gabby LaJeunesse, Jennifer Blum and Sydney May are the big names on the roster. Led by Ayanna Ferringer, Cranberry has a pretty good team -- 7-4 as of 9.229 -- , but Oil City, which at one time  fielded one of the top programs in District 10, continues to struggle, but does have a win or two  and did OK in the Franklin Spiketacular.  Cranberry owns a victory over Oil City, but lost to Franklin at the start of the season. Rocky Grove, which boasted one of its best teams ever last season, is down this year. Venango Catholic is also struggling. Franklin, Cranberry, Rocky Grove and Oil City all lost Sept. 29.


The top runners in Venango County are Franklin's Caleb Prettyman and Natalie Latchaw, but Oil City (Jack Mumford, Elijah Brosius and freshman Keegan Kirkwood) has the top boys team. Rocky Grove (Ethan Knapp and Evan Wolfgong) and Cranberry (Dalton Wenner, Dane Wenner) are solid. Franklin's Jay Prettyman is another good distance man.

Franklin girls apparently are short of the usual five runners. Erstwhile highjumper/pole vaulter Baine Snyder had been leading the Oil City girls in the absence of Kennedy Liederbach, who did return 9.27 vs. Conneaut. In fact, Oil City swept CASH. The boys are 4-0 overall and 2-0 in Region 7, and the girls are 3-1 and 2-0. Cranberry has a good team led by Kelsey and Kayla Hanna. The Berries were ninth in the Altoona Invitational and sixth in both  the Big Red and Titusville invites. Top runner for Rocky Grove is Isabel Griffen.

Both Oil City teams have victories over Franklin and Rocky Grove and the boys won the Big Red Invitational and were third at Titusville. Cranberry has also beaten Franklin.

Rocky Grove was fifth at Titusville.

Cranberry swept C-L on Sept. 28. Boys are 3-1.

The Grove swept Cochranton Sept. 27 when Franklin dropped two to Titusville (dual meet) -- even though Prettyman and Latchaw continued to take firsts.

Oilers win Big Red invite

Kelly Malek

Displaying the first-place trophy are Franklin's Venango Cup champions: (front row, from left) Ryan McCandless, Zach Rugh and Ty Prince and (back row) Avery Purich, Aiden McCracken and Damon Curry.


Sydni Hoobler announced Sept. 8 on Twitter that she will continue her athletic career at Akron. Hoobler stars in softball and volleyball at Franklin. The Region 4 MVP last spring, she led the state in stolen bases and hit over .500