By Coach Ryan Slater
Mother Nature unfortunately would not let us play round two of the state meet, so it was limited to one round of play. We, like everyone aside from possibly the winner, Des Moines Christian, were disappointed because we felt like we were going to play much better on day two at the American Legion Course.
Caleb Reel got off to good start playing the first four holes in even par, despite not having good results off the tee. As the round went on though, that inability caught up with him and he brought in a round of 85. Caleb had a tremendous season as is certainly one of the main reason why we made it to the State Tournament. His season was highlighted with a third place finish at the Sectional Meet in Dyersville and a personal best round of 77 at the District Meet in Dike that helped carry us on to State.
Sophomore Lincoln Mehlert had the most improvement on the team this year, shooting a terrific round of 76 at the District Meet to lead our team. Considering that he shot a 103 as a Freshmen at the 3A Sectional Meet in DeWitt, this was quite a stride forward in one season. At the State Meet he continued his good play on the opening 9 holes shooting a 40, but struggled with his swing a little bit on the inward 9 to finish with an 86. Still, it was a fantastic season for him and he was another one of the big reasons we made it to State.
Junior Devin Reel had his best 18 hole round of the year at the State Meet. He drove the ball beautifully and made some good putts to bring in the low round for our team (83). If he can make some improvements around the greens in the off-season, he will be someone we anticipate bringing in low rounds every meet.
Junior Brandon Stech rounded out our scoring at the State Meet with a round of 85. In typical Brandon fashion, he was all over the course off the tee, but then made miraculous recovery shots from a fairway over to save bogeys and an occasional par. He hits it a mile off the tee and if he can start finding the correct fairway, he will be shooting in the low 40’s which is where we will need him to be if we plan on giving it a run for the State Championship next season.
Brandon Goodwin was our loan Senior in the varsity lineup, and if I gave a ‘Mr. Congeniality” award every year on the team he would win it hands down. All the other players rallied around him and we didn’t want to end his season before the State Meet. It was cool to keep that promise, and we will definitely miss his presence next season. His year was highlighted by a fifth place finish and All-Tournament honors at the Grundy Invitational to lead our team. But more important, it was the outstanding round of 83 he shot at Sectional Meet to insure our advancement to the District Meet.
Junior Trevor Davis was our #6 golfer at the State Meet. He had a rough opening 9 but hung in there throughout the round. His year was highlighted by a 43 at the Comet Invitational to lead our team and earn All-Tournament honors. It really helps a team when they can get contributions outside of the top 4 players and I know our depth as a team will be even greater next season, enabling us to go even further then we did this season. The experience at the State Tournament was invaluable, and we will have the main objective of making it back there as we play all season long in 2020.