Roxana's Zack Moore putts on Hole No. 18 at Acorns Golf Links on Tuesday in the Class 2A Waterloo Sectional. Moore qualified for state.
CM's Alec Hilliard putts on Hole No. 18 on Tuesday at Acorns Golf Links in Waterloo.
Marquette's Nick Messinger chips onto the green on Hole No. 9 Tuesday at Acorns Golf Links in Waterloo.
Andrew McCluskey of the Explorers hits a long putt on Hole No. 9 Tuesday in Waterloo.
J. Ryan Waters of the Eagles checks out terrain on the green at Hole No. 9 at Acorns Golf Links on Tuesday.
Roxana's Zach Carlisle putts on No. 18 Tuesday in Waterloo.
WATERLOO — It was a tough day on the course at Acorns Golf Links in Waterloo Tuesday.
With wet, cold and windy conditions at the Class 2A Waterloo Sectional, Roxana's Zack Moore becomes the only local golfer to qualify for state. The sectional was postponed to Tuesday from Monday due to wet conditions.
Unfortunately for the Marquette Catholic Explorers and Civic Memorial Eagles, they saw their seasons come to an end at sectionals.
Marquette fired a 354 to finish eighth as a team and CM shot 382 to end up in 11th.
“We always hope to get out as a team. That's always the goal,” Pat Moore, head coach of the Explorers, said. “Every single year, no matter how good or bad the team is, that's the goal. Even with the depth of our team, with conditions like today, you can't practice that. You just don't know what's going to happen out there. You're going to get bad lies, but my guys never complained about the course, it was always about themselves. But there are some tough holes out there, especially with the rain. You get no roll and it's hard to stay confident when you're constantly working on things.”
For CM head coach Steve Carey it was disheartening to see the high scores from his Eagles after such a fantastic season. CM set a school record for wins in 2014 and advanced from a regional for the first time in the program's history.
“The conditions were tough and we just didn't handle it very well,” Carey said. “At this stage of the season it's almost an individual game now and not a team sport. They take some extra chances they wouldn't take normally and sometimes your score can balloon a little bit on certain holes and that certainly happened to us today. I was surprised to see some of our scores as high as they were absolutely.”
Marquette, which won the Class 2A Roxana Regional, saw its scoring come from Michael Holtz (82), Nick Messinger (86), Max Goepel (88) and Stephen Elliott (98). Andrew McCluskey (102) and Duncan McLain (104) also competed on Tuesday.
“It's the end to a great season,” Moore said. “With the kids and the three seniors I had, it was an awesome season. I'm so proud of the kids. I love these kids to death, awesome team, but with these conditions it's hard.”
For the Eagles, junior Alec Hilliard led the way with an 83. Other scorers for CM were: Parker Calvin (98), Eric Howes (99) and J. Ryan Waters (102). Konnar Loewen (103) and Tristen Frank (114) also competed.
With only Waters and Howes as seniors, Carey believes the experience gained in the postseason run is invaluable for the Eagles moving forward.
“They got a lot of valuable experience this whole year,” Carey said. “I think the future of CM golf is pretty bright. We've got some young kids that didn't come along with us on this trip that will be capable of helping us next year.”
Ten individuals on non-advancing teams qualified for state. The cut was 81, seeing Marquette's Holtz (82) and CM's Hilliard (83) narrowly miss out.
Roxana's Zach Carlisle carded an 88 as an individual to see his season end too, while his teammate Zack Moore turned in a 79 to advance to state for the first time in his four-year career.
“It's my senior year, so I really needed to go out this year to get any colleges looking at me,” Moore said. “They don't really look at anybody who doesn't go to state. I'm really happy I got out. My dad's super stoked, coach (Jeff Pare) is really happy. It was a good day.”
On the team front, Mattoon was the sectional champion with a 327. Belleville Althoff (330) and Salem (338) also advanced to the Class 2A state meet at Weibring Golf Course at Illinois State University in Normal. The tournament begins Friday and concludes Saturday.
Althoff's Matthew McCarthy was the medalist, carding a 72.