Civic Memorial Eagles
WOOD RIVER – J. Ryan Waters has high hopes for the Civic Memorial Eagles boys’ golf team this fall.
“We are solid as a team,” said Waters, a senior and leader of the pack. “We have different guys that can pick us up every match.”
The Eagles extended their pick-me-up approach Wednesday night. They shot a 165 score to outdo Metro East Lutheran (181), host Roxana (188) and Staunton (216) in a quadrangular at Belk Park.
CM improved to 12-1. Roxana, which is 9-16, is scheduled to play host to a quad today that includes East Alton-Wood River.
Shells’ coach Jeff Pare said the Eagles are no fluke. “They are a pretty consistent team and J. Ryan Waters is a nice player.”
Alec Hilliard’s 39 score spurred CM in its latest effort. Waters carded a 40, while Eric Howes and freshman Parker Calvin both recorded rounds of 43. Zack Moore’s 40 was best for Roxana.
“I thought we would be where we are right now,” said 28th-year CM golf coach Steve Carey, also the Eagles’ director of athletics. “We have two guys that can score under 40 and we have a good mix of kids. We also have good senior leadership and the older guys take care of the younger ones.”
It’s sort of a one-for-all, all-for-one approach. Konnar Loewen, Jordan Johnes, Fred Tristen, Will Spencer and Caleb Howard add to the Eagles’ depth.
“We feel like we are playing with a lot of confidence,” Waters said. “I think we can go to the sectional as a team.”
CM will be paired with Marquette Catholic and Roxana in the 10-team Shells' Class 2A Regional on Oct. 7 at Belk. EA-WR is participating in the 12-team Metro East Lutheran Class 1A Regional.
“We want to contend for the conference title and get through the regional,” Carey said. Mascoutah figures to be the Eagles’ chief opponents in the Mississippi Valley Conference tournament at Belk Park. The Indians handed the Eagles their only loss and it came on a scorecard tie-breaker.
“The best team we’ve had won more than 20 matches one season, but this team could be one of the best ones we’ve had,” said Carey, owner of 349 career victories. CM went 22-6 in 1987-88, its best record in school annals. The Eagles were 20-10 in 1986-87.
Waters could be the key player when the Eagles embark on their stretch run.
“I’m more relaxed this year and it’s my senior season, so I want to make it count,” Waters said. “I’ve practiced on my short game and that has made a huge difference. I’m more comfortable with my putting.”
He’s also inspired to finish his prep career with a flourish and then going on to play college golf.
“I want to go to state because I missed it the last two years," Water said. "I’m really motivated to go state."