New Wildcats shoulder sectional gloryJune 7, 2014
By JOE JASINSKI
Herald Sports Writer
JASPER — They’d been here before. But all of a sudden, it all felt so different for Jacob Bartley and Cam Weyer.
Low rounds. They’d shot ’em. Sectional titles. They’d won ’em. But after these low rounds, and this sectional title, “we really have never had this feeling before,” Bartley said candidly. “I really just have the greatest feeling in the world right now.”
Certainly some of it had to do with the Jasper senior’s gaudy round of 70 as he plucked medalist honors at Friday’s boys golf sectional when, a week earlier, he’d been trying to rewire a swing that just wasn’t firing how he wanted it to.
But more so, the foreign feeling overtook him because, for the first time maybe, he and Weyer had carried the weight of a sectional on their shoulders. As they stood in the clubhouse at Sultan’s Run Golf Club after the Wildcats ditched the field for their seventh straight sectional title, the ownership was theirs.
“We’ve always got that guy, and we’ve never been that guy,” Weyer said. “And then this year, us two came in as that guy, those guys, I guess you could say.”
Bartley piloted the field while Weyer fired a 73 — tied for third-best on the day — as Jasper (303) bolted past South Spencer (321) for the crown. Meanwhile, Heritage Hills (323) relished redemption with third place and a ticket to Thursday’s regional at Champions Pointe Golf Club in Henryville after finishing a single stroke behind the Rebels for the final regional qualifying spot at last year’s sectional.
Southridge (352) mustered a sixth-place finish, as senior Tyler Gray collared a 71 — Friday’s second-best score and sufficient to qualify the Raider senior for regional as an individual. Springs Valley (340) and Tell City (349) finished just ahead of the Raiders, who bested Paoli (369) and Loogootee (399). Forest Park (405) continued its sectional strides, too, and earned ninth place to top Perry Central (435), while Orleans (no team score) rounded out the 11-team field.
Reid Lorey bolstered the Cats’ charge with a 77, Carson Pierce swiped an 83 and Luke Lehane carded a 96 for Jasper. As dangerous as Bartley’s number came to be, getting there offered as many ups and downs as Sultan’s hilly topography.
There was the eagle on No. 6. Bogey on 7. Birdie on 8. Bogey on 9. Birdies on 11 and 16 with another bogey on 12 that was completely cast aside when his birdie putt on 15 rolled completely around the cup before falling in.
“Once I 360-ed the one on No. 15, I knew it was my day,” Bartley said with a smile.
Weyer was there the whole way.
He shouted to Bartley from the 15th fairway, and again as his classmate walked toward his drive on No. 18.
“I was yelling it all day,” Weyer said. “This is my boy right here.”
They slapped hands and it rang aloud with conviction.
They were happy. Marc Schum can relate.
After a disheartening finish as a team a year prior sent only Preston Van Winkle and Corey Teaford on to represent Heritage Hills in Henryville, Schum exhibited an air equal parts relief and rapture Friday after “these guys threw together some big rounds when we needed it,” the Patriot coach said. “I mean, Corey Teaford. How big is a 73 out of a sophomore? Wow.”
Van Winkle carded a 75, Evan Braun posted an 87, Alex Gordon chipped in an 88 and Dakota Deller furnished an 89 for the Pats, while Teaford constructed the base.
The sophomore admitted the first-tee nerves were still there even in his second sectional go-’round, but after that, “I was feeling pretty confident out there.” Playing alongside Bartley only helped as “he made a lot of birdies, I made a lot of birdies, it was just a fun time out there,” Teaford said.
Outside of Van Winkle, a senior who’s cemented this season as his magnum opus, the squad consists of Teaford, a sophomore, two freshmen in Gordon and Deller, and Braun, a senior in just his second season on the team. Plus, the guys responded to the edict made by Schum last spring, when he said more had to be done to make the mark this time around.
“It showed today,” Schum said. “They really put in the work.”
Sometimes that toil gets you the needed results. And sometimes, it doesn’t.
For Southridge, the rounds spanned the spectrum, with Gray firing away and Mitch Steinkamp (92), Drew Dearing (106) and Evan Julian (115) contributing to the Raiders’ scorecard as well.
Gray’s day was, well, “it was an interesting day,” he said with his typical downplaying demeanor.
It started by getting wet on No. 2. When his ball landed just inside a water hazard, he decided to pick it from the drink with a club.
“Normally, it comes out like a bunker shot,” he said.
The ball popped out some 10 yards and into an actual bunker. Through two holes, he was 3-over and sporting a mud-stained shirt, but “it was early,” he said. “I’ve had worse starts before.”
From there, he was on. During one stretch, the senior launched a 4-under assault over a five-hole span. He saved par after parking his drive behind a tree on 17, and his tee shot on 18 — a casual, 3-wood stinger that ripped over the ravine and came to a halt some 250 yards later, set him up for a humdrum par.
He had gotten in a groove. A groove Beau Schneider just couldn’t seem to find.
Schneider’s 83 left him just three strokes shy of Tell City’s Mason Waninger, the third and final individual regional qualifier. Throughout the round, “it was just bogey after bogey after bogey,” said Schneider, his face baked from the day’s unabated sun.
Yet even with the bogeys, Schneider said, it never got worse than that. He never had a hole that crippled his chances of regrouping.
“It happens, and life goes on,” Schneider said. “Life’s too short to get mad.”
In a sense, it was the same message Forest Park coach Chris Tretter had for Winston Glenn when the Ranger senior had distress draped over his face after his second-worst nine-hole score of the season.
“What’s wrong?” Tretter asked.
“Everything,” Glenn explained.
So Tretter had the four-year player take a look at his hands, where Glenn had squiggled his customary smiley faces as reminders to keep the good vibes.
“Oh, c’mon,” Glenn said to his coach, “you’re going to use my own thing on me?!”
Tretter had fun with the first group of seniors he’s had in his three years at the helm. He snapped photos of each — Glenn (100), Drew Weyer (97) and Cole Wendholt (109) — at the first tee and again beside the 18th pin. Tretter figured Friday night’s team banquet would “be pretty challenging for me,” he said. “Hopefully I’ve made a positive influence on these guys. I know they’ve made a positive influence on me over the last three years. So that’s special.”
Glenn thought the same. He recalled his freshman year, when “we came out and played here and it was rough,” said Glenn, recalling the 464 the Rangers shot at sectional that year. “And every year it got a little bit better. ... Now, the team, they’re competitive. Like here, there’s three people within four strokes of each other at sectional which, I mean, is flat-out good. I just hope they can keep it up.”
With Bryce Brosmer (102) and Matt Miller (106) helping the Rangers shave another 32 strokes off their 2013 sectional score, the horizon still appears bright for the Rangers, Tretter said.
As it does for Jasper as well. Which is a bit comical for Wildcat coach Steve Milligan, considering the refrain he’d been hearing all year: With last year’s two key cogs of Will Seger and Dru Hein graduated, this year’s focus is more on rebuilding. Right?
“Well, not really. Not really, because you don’t realize, that was our 94th victory of the year” against just 24 defeats, Milligan said in reference to the individual matches. “People don’t realize that. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, some kind of rebuilding year. Everybody thinks it was an up-and-down year, but with these guys, they did not make it an up-and-down year.
“We’re right there.”
Contact Joe Jasinski
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