Put your hands together for some quiet applause because it’s been a stellar year on the local prep golf scene.
Maybe I’m not privy to it, but I’ve been wondering if there has been a Bushwoods Country Club built in the River Bend that I don’t know about. Local high school linksters have been teeing it up with enough success to make Danny Noonan, Ty Webb and Judge Smails take notice.
The Alton girls’ golf team is headed to state for only the second time in school history, while the East Alton-Wood River boys’ squad earned a berth in the state field for the first time.
The lady Redbirds will tee it up at Hickory Point Golf Club on Friday and Saturday in the Class 3A state meet after earning the first sectional crown in school history. The Birds fired a 334 to win the Champaign Centennial Sectional on Oct. 11. A big shout-out goes to the lineup of Courtney Hachmann (78), Natalie Long (80), Tori Hays (81), Ashley Orr (95), Samantha Patton (95) and Morgan Bemis (103) for their stellar sectional performances.
It followed up a share of the Southwestern Conference title with Edwardsville. AHS fired a super-low 305 to win the SWC Tournament at Belk Park Golf Course on Sept. 30.
It took two days in tough weather conditions for the Oilers to get to state, but on Tuesday they shot themselves into second place at the Class 1A Trenton Wesclin Sectional at Governor’s Run Golf Course in Carlye. EA-WR turned in their best round of the year, shooting a 328 at sectionals.
Brett Gaines (78), Jake Hei (81), Andrew Sobol (84), Hunter O’Brien (85) and Brendon Allen (116) comprised the sectional lineup. The Oilers have never even advanced an individual to state prior to this year.
If that isn’t enough, Roxana’s Zack Moore will battle as an individual at the Class 2A boys’ state meet at Weibring Golf Course in Normal and Carlee Cronin will represent the Marquette Catholic Explorers in the Class 1A girls’ state meet at Red Tail Run Golf Course in Decatur. Both of those tourneys are Friday and Saturday.
Unfortunately, the season came to an end for some other local golfers at sectionals, but every team was at least represented in the second round of the postseason.
The Marquette boys’ and girls’ both sent teams to sectionals, as did the Civic Memorial Eagles boys’ and girls’ programs. The Alton boys’ and Roxana boys’ and girls’ were represented individually.
The Marquette boys’ team has nothing to hang its head about. The Explorers brought home a regional title, Prairie State Conference title, small school Madison County championship and the Hickory Stick title. They were also runners up at the Redbird Invitational and the Catholic Tournament on the season.
The CM boys’ were exceptional this season, setting a school record in wins and advancing as a team out of regionals for the first time in school history. The lady Eagles boasted their first-ever regional championship this season, too.
And don’t worry, the golf season will come to a conclusion following the respective state tournaments this weekend and then you can turn that quiet clap into a standing ovation.