Cats roll on; Pats proud of run

Brooke Stevens/The Herald
Jasper’s Michael Bies, who teed off in last week’s regional, fired a team-leading 75 Tuesday at the Legends of Indiana Golf Club in Franklin to help the Wildcats reach today’s final round of the state finals. The Cats sit in seventh place, eight strokes behind leader Columbus North.

From Herald Staff Reports

The Jasper boys golf team completed Stage 1, but the eighth-ranked Wildcats know their work is far from over.

Just ask the staff at The Legends of Indiana Golf Club.

The Cats advanced to today’s second round of the state finals in Franklin after posting a team score of 311 in Tuesday’s first round. The Cats are knotted in a seventh-place tie with No. 3 Evansville Harrison. Top-ranked Columbus North (303) holds the lead while No. 2 Indianapolis Brebeuf (305), No. 7 Warsaw (307), No. 5 Floyd Central (308), No. 19 Indianapolis Cathedral (308), No. 16 Carmel (309), Penn (312) and Fort Wayne Dwenger (313) completed the field of 10 teams advancing. Eleventh-rated Heritage Hills (316) backed up its ranking by finishing 11th in its final round of the season, though Patriot senior Travis Waninger advanced as an individual after shooting a 3-over-par 75.


It was the first time in Jasper coach Steve Milligan’s 10 years at the helm that the Wildcat boys advanced to the second round at state. They were happy to stick around, and the Wildcats were the only team to remain at the course well after the day’s finish.

“They’re eight strokes out of the lead to win the state championship,” Milligan said. “That’s been their goal all year. ... This is the last stage of the year and we’re sitting at the Legends right now (at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday) and every boy is gone from the Legends except for the Jasper Wildcats.

“The Jasper Wildcats are still practicing, chipping and putting.”

Michael Bies led the Cats through Day 1 with a 3-over par 75. Will Seger fired a 78, Dru Hein and Cam Weyer notched 79s and Ian Weyer carded an 84.

Bies acknowledged that the Wildcats are “pretty happy” with their placement so far, noting his and Cam Weyer’s satisfaction with their scores. And though the team is loose — Milligan recounted that the Cats joined Heritage Hills golfers in playing putt-putt in their hotel hallway Monday night — Bies said the Cats’ won’t be satisfied until they play up to the standards they’ve set for themselves all year long.

“We didn’t play how we should have,” Bies said. “Will wanted to do a lot better and so did Dru and Ian, but me and Cam stepped up today. But we made it to the second day for the first time ever, so we’re pretty happy. ... We’re all out here practicing still, so our confidence level will be pretty high (in the final round).”

Heritage Hills, meanwhile, narrowly missed on joining Jasper in Day 2 competition.

The Patriots (316) finished only three shots out of the top 10 and were the first team to miss the second-round cut. Nick Teaford carded a 77, Cody Van Winkle and Preston Van Winkle each shot an 82 and Sam Collins offered a 95 for the Patriots.

Heritage Hills coach Marc Schum said the Patriots lost a couple shots toward the end of each the front and back nine, but added his team didn’t come out nervous despite playing in its first state finals.

“Expectations coming in, we really thought we could compete with anybody up here,” he said. “We thought we were in the top 10 in the state.”

Waninger and Teaford both benefited from a “great ball-striking day,” Schum said. Waninger hit eight out of nine greens on the back nine, and he added by the time he settled in after the first few holes, he felt the potential for a memorable round.

“I would say on the front nine I knew I was playing good,” Waninger said. “When the back nine hit, I hit eight of nine greens, I knew it was going to be a good day. ... I’d say by the middle of the round I knew it could be something special.”

Schum knew a couple shots here or there could have changed things and had his whole team playing today, but said advancing to the state finals for the first time in program history was “great.”

And one Patriot gets to savor that feeling for another day.

“It’s about as fun as it can get,” Waninger said. “Anytime you get to the top of a certain level you’re at — for high school golf, this is high as you get. I couldn’t be happier now, just excited to play (in the final round) and really relaxed.”

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