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Civic Memorial's J. Ryan Waters putts on Hole No. 12 Tuesday at Belk Park Golf Course during the Class 2A Roxana Regional.
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Michael Holtz of Marquette prepares to drive off of the tee box on Hole No. 12 at Belk Park Tuesday.
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CM's Tristen Frank watches his putt on Hole No. 16 on Tuesday at Belk Park.
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Duncan McLain of the Explorers hits a short putt on Hole No. 16 on Tuesday at Belk Park.
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Konnar Loewen of the Eagles putts from the fringe on Hole No. 16 at Belk Park on Tuesday.
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Marquette's Stephen Elliott hits a short putt on Hole No. 16 for the Explorers on Tuesday in the Roxana Regional.
WOOD RIVER — The Marquette Catholic Explorers and Civic Memorial Eagles had plenty to celebrate in Tuesday's Class 2A Roxana Regional at Belk Park Golf Course in Wood River.
For the second time in Pat Moore's three-year tenure as head coach of the Explorers they are regional champions. On the other end of the spectrum, for the first time in school history the Eagles have advanced as a team out of a regional.
Marquette fired a 324 as a team to garner the team title, while CM shot a 331 to finish third and advance to Monday's Waterloo Sectional at Acorns Golf Links in Waterloo. The other advancing team was Greenville, which nabbed second place with a score of 328.
“This is the first step,” Moore said of winning the regional. “This is starting to bring back memories of two years ago when I first started coaching and winning that regional. All good things happen after that as we go onto the sectional, then you get out and go to state as a team. That's what we've been striving for all year. This is what we've been talking about all year, regionals, win it, go to sectionals, top three, go to state. That's been our goal all year. The kids are determined.”
For long-time CM head coach Steve Carey, who started coaching the Eagles in 1986, qualifying for the sectional was a huge deal.
“It is very rewarding for our club,” Carey said. “They've played well all year and it's a nice reward for them to advance as a team. We've had a lot of kids make it through as individuals, but this makes it more special for us.”
The rest of the field rounded out with Triad (333), Hillsboro (335), Jersey (348), Highland (351), Roxana (366), Breese Central (372) and Southwestern (404).
Triad's Brayden Polansky earned medalist honors to advance as an individual to sectionals, firing a 73.
CM's J. Ryan Waters came in second individually, carding a 74. It was a big day for Waters, whose score helped seal the Eagles' fates.
“It was really tough conditions today I thought,” Waters said. “It was really windy and instead of playing high ball flight I had to knuckle down on a couple holes and I'm glad we got out as a team. I knew we were in the running between (us, Marquette and Greenville), so I knew when a couple of our other guys didn't do quite as well as we thought we would, I tried to knuckle down there. I really wanted to get us out as a team.
“We also set the record for wins this year, so I thought we could add onto that (getting out of regionals), so it would be even better.”
The other scorers for the Eagles were: Alec Hilliard (83), Eric Howes (86) and Konnar Loewen (88). Parker Calvin (91) and Tristen Frank (94) also competed on Tuesday.
For Marquette, it was the pair of sophomores leading the way like they have much of 2014. Michael Holtz and Nick Messinger both carded 78s to guide the Explorers, while Max Goepel (81) and Andrew McCluskey (87) figured into the scoring for the team, too. Stephen Elliott (89) and Duncan McLain (91) also competed for Marquette.
“He know he wasn't happy with this round,” Moore said of Holtz. “He really grinded it out just to keep it in the 70s to let us take that title. I know he's going to be determined to shoot that low score at the Acorns. I'm going to be excited to watch him play and the rest of the kids of course and hopefully get out as a team. I just know (Holtz) is going to have a little fire in his belly to shoot a low score at the Acorns.”
Unfortunately for the host Shells, they weren't able to advance as a team. They did propel a pair of individuals to the next round though.
Senior Zack Moore and junior Zach Carlisle each carded 83s to get out individually. Zack Moore is advancing to his second straight sectional as an individual, while Carlisle narrowly missed the cut last year, so this is his first time qaulifying.
“It feels pretty good,” Zack Moore said. “I just didn't play as well as I wanted to. I could have played a lot better, but 83, I'm not mad at it. I just couldn't putt today. I wanted to shoot a 74 or better. I figured 74 or 75 was going to win it and I haven't won regionals before so that was my goal today.”
For Carlisle, after missing advancing by a stroke in 2013, it was a little bit of redemption for him on Tuesday.
“It feels good just going out and playing golf and having fun,” Carlisle said. “My goal was to shoot 80 or better, but 83 is not too bad. I can deal with it definitely.
“I did not get out last year. The cut was 85 and I shot an 86, so this is my first time getting out. It feels pretty good. I was really feeling confident going into the regional, thinking I was going to get out and the result ended good.”
Now it's on to sectionals on Monday at Acorns. Marquette, CM and Greenville will be joined by: Metropolis (Masac County), Columbia, Belleville Althoff, Centralia, Mount Vernon, Salem, Effingham, Mattoon and Mount Zion.
IN CLASS 3A — The Alton Redbirds saw their season come to an end as a team.
The Redbirds shot a 346 to finish in sixth place as a team. They did move two linksters on though, as junior Sam Ballard carded an 84 and senior Alex Rubin fired an 85 to be two of the individuals on non-advancing teams to get out of the Class 3A Belleville Regional at Clinton Hill Country Club in Swansea.
Ballard and Rubin will now make the long trip to the Homewood Flossmoor Sectional at Balmoral in Crete on Monday.
The Edwardsville Tiger won the Belleville Regional with a 312. Belleville West (329) and Quincy (329) were the other advancing squads.
Junior Justin Hemings of EHS was the medalist with a 74.