Anthony Mampieri had one heck of a final outing as a high school golf coach Oct. 23, even though he didn’t see much of it. The four-year head coach at St. Charles Preparatory School in Columbus, Ohio – who will step down after this year – watched his Cardinals rise to the top of the leaderboard during the first round of the Ohio State Golf Championship before bowing out to attend to fatherly duties as his team marched into school history.
Mampieri arrived at the state championship with a squad made up entirely of juniors and seniors. With a title defense on the line, St. Charles cruised to a 19-over 303 at the Ohio State Scarlet Course, also in Columbus, building a 16-shot lead for the final round.
Little did Mampieri know he wouldn’t be back to coach the boys through to the end, as his wife Leeanne gave birth to their third child – a month premature – early the next morning.
“My wife woke me up about 3 a.m., I was thinking I might have overslept for the second round on Saturday and then she said no it was time,” he said.
Christiano Matthew was born at 5:12 a.m., and even though the coach was on-hand to deliver a pep talk before the start of the final round, he quickly returned to the hospital to be with his wife.
Mampieri returned to the course later that day, but as it turns out his players knew just what to do without him. They returned a second-round 307, and their two-day score of 42-over 610 broke the team scoring record for Division I golf (the largest of three divisions in Ohio state high school athletics) by a single shot. The beat second-place team St. Ignatius by 11 shots.
“My boys played really well on the back side,” Mampieri said of the few holes he got to witness in person.
In addition to the team win, senior Michael Ricaurte also took home the individual title, finishing at 2-over 144 (71-73). It’s the first individual golf title for a St. Charles player.
The state championship is a good cap to Mampieri’s tenure as head golf coach, and also earns the team a place in the St. Charles history books as the only program to win back-to-back state titles, not to mention the only golf team in St. Charles history to take home state championship hardware. The team also won last year’s state championship when it was shortened to 18 holes because of rain. Mampieri had been focused on winning a state championship since taking the reigns of the program, and had an inkling this could be the team to do it.
“It was a very experienced team, and just a team that loved challenges,” Mampieri said.