Jasper takes county triangularMay 12, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
SANTA CLAUS — An All-Dubois County triangular commenced Wednesday at Christmas Lake Golf Course — as Jasper, Southridge and Forest Park all squared off against one another.
Jasper came away with the win — scoring 167 to Forest Park’s 182 and Southridge’s 199. The Wildcats had four players shoot in the low forties. Freshman Luke Shappard earned medalist honors with a 41, while senior Nick Buechlein Buechlein and sophomores Daniel Moore and Reece Lampert each shot a 42.
“Their shots were on the greens,” Jasper coach Caleb Begle said. “Our putts went down a little bit. We’ve been putting way too many times during these rounds. So, they’ve been a little bit better on the greens — so that helps the scores go down.”
Begle said the Wildcats have tried to take a small step forward all week, as they lost on a fifth score tiebreak to Washington Monday at Sultan’s Run Golf Club, and came away with a 183-199 Tuesday against Springs Valley at the Donald Ross Course.
Shappard led Jasper in scoring in those two days — just like he did on Wednesday. He shot a 41 against the Hatchets, and a 42 against the Blackhawks.
“He’s the smart golfer and he’s a solid player,” Begle said of Shappard. “He kind of knows his way around. He’s been struggling a little bit on the greens, and he’s spent more time out on the putting green.”
The Wildcats will have a reprieve, as they’re next set to tee off May 19 against Forest Park at Buffalo Trace Golf Course in a junior varsity match, while varsity is next slated for May 20 at Sultan’s Run against Heritage Hills.
“Our focus will still be on our putting,” Begle said. “We’ll spend some time — we’ll probably play a few rounds with the whole group. But these guys need to continue to focus on stuff around the greens because we’re hitting the ball decent, we’re just not putting the ball as well as what we’d like. So, we’ve got to improve on that, and hopefully our scores will continue heading in the right direction.”
For the Raiders and Rangers, they’ll now be looking towards Saturday’s scheduled Pocket Athletic Conference meet at Sultan’s Run.
“We’re really close to putting four scores together and getting a good team score for us,” Southridge coach Brock Matthews said.
Matthews thought his players played better on Wednesday than their scores indicated, but some holes got away from some of his players at the end. He felt sophomore Gabe Boeglin, who scored a team-best 47, played well for seven holes and that junior Eli Buse, who shot a 49, played well all night, save for some holes he’d have wanted back at the end.
He said Thursday’s practice will entail doing work on the range, while Friday will focus on Southridge working on its short game — things like chipping and putting. Matthews told the Herald that his players know how to play the game, and now it’s a matter of fine tuning things to get ready for conference.
Southridge previously got a look at Sultan’s Run on May 8 — shooting 410 as a team and finishing in 10th place at the Jasper Invitational, but Matthews noted it was a strong field.
The Raiders will also be there for the June 4 sectional.
“If we get a top five-seven finish, I’m okay with that as long as we play well and do what we’re supposed to do,” he said.
Forest Park coach Chris Tretter, meanwhile, thinks his Rangers are in a midseason slump. He pointed to the fact that the team was scoring better earlier in the year than they are now.
“We’re scoring worse than our potential,” Tretter said. “As I look at the stats, we’re driving the ball fine, but we’re not hitting greens.”
Tretter said his players are playing scared instead of playing confident, but he does not know what’s prompting that lack of confidence because otherwise Forest Park would fix it.
“Physically, our guys have all of the tools that they need in terms of knowing what shots to hit, and making good swings, but we just lack the confidence to go out and understand that we can compete,” he said. “So, do they believe in themselves Saturday, or do they not believe in themselves? And that’ll be the difference for us.”
Tretter said the rest of the week will entail spending time on the range and ensuring everybody is confident in their swing. He said the Rangers should reasonably be considering placing in the top three, but he knows there’s stiff competition at the top with Heritage Hills, Gibson Southern, Washington and themselves.
“We had high expectations coming into the year, and we’re not going to let up — we’re going to go get it,” Tretter said. “So, we’ll put in a good day’s practice tomorrow, we’ll put in a good day’s practice Friday and we’ll tee it up and be ready to go.”
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