Cats top Raiders in county rivalryApril 21, 2021
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
JASPER — An overnight snowfall presented a unique situation for Jasper boys golf head coach Caleb Begle. The mid-April snow was a bit peculiar, but it dried up before the Wildcats faced Southridge Wednesday evening at Buffalo Trace Golf Course.
Jasper finished the county rivalry match with a final score of 179, while Southridge recorded a total of 212.
“It doesn’t happen very often where you’ve got snow on the ground the morning of a golf match,” Begle said with a chuckle. “We were glad that we got out to play tonight. It was cold, but it wasn’t too bad out there.”
Jasper and Southridge battled fluctuating winds throughout the match. Freshman Luke Shappard stayed steady and led the way for the Cats. Shappard earned medalist honors with a score of 42.
“He’s been playing some good golf,” Begle said. “In the conditions that we were playing in today, it’s not easy to shoot a good score. To shoot 42, he’s still capable of shooting a better score than that. But, that’s a pretty good score for him. He’s continued to put good rounds together.”
Cats senior Will Messmer shot a 44, sophomore Daniel Moore contributed a 46 and sophomore Reece Lampert added a 47. Senior Nick Buechlein recorded a 48 and junior John Kemker finished with a 50.
Southridge senior Aidan Blessinger shot a team-low 50 for the Raiders. Junior Cory Abell followed with a 51, while fellow junior Eli Buse tallied a 55. Sophomore Kamden McKeough added a 56, sophomore Gabe Boeglin posted a 57 and junior Luke Trout finished with a 61.
“We have a lot of inexperienced guys,” Southridge head coach Brock Matthews said. “Most of the team has never seen the course before. This is the first time they’ve played it. That’s going to happen a lot on the road with a young team that just hasn’t had the opportunity to play a lot of different courses yet.”
Begle and the Cats have focused on incremental improvement. The diligent approach paid off on Wednesday.
“Our approach has just been taking it day by day,” Begle said. “We’re trying to get better with each opportunity that we get to come out here. We’ve got a lot to improve on, but we’ve got plenty of guys that we can build off of. We’re really trying to work on our mental approach to the game. We’re trying to move on from bad shots and really focus on the next shot.”
Although the conditions provided some difficulties, Matthews was pleased with the Raiders’ resilience.
“Some of the guys were able to get it together,” he said. “They finished the second half a lot stronger than they did to start the match off, which is a good sign. It means that they’re not giving up. They’re still staying mentally checked in.”
Southridge plays a Pocket Athletic Conference match on Monday at North Posey.
“I think we’ll match up pretty well with North Posey,” Matthews said. “I think they’re about the same type of team that we are. We’ll get another chance to play on another course that’s not ours. Hopefully, we’ll get a little experience and get better.”
Jasper returns for the Bud Bennett Invitational on Saturday at Corydon Central.
“It’s always a competitive tournament,” Begle said. “There are some really good teams. It’s another opportunity to play an 18-hole tournament. You’re playing with good teams. It’s another look into how the sectional is played with 18-hole matches. It’s good experience for these guys.”
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