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  • Blue Springs South boys golf coach Ted Linke didn’t watch his team carry off a championship or runner-up plaque after Monday’s Class 4 District 7 Tournament at Drumm Farm Golf Club.
    Rockhurst totaled 302, with Greg Watkins (73) and Peter Dierks (75) posting the day’s top two rounds, and Lee’s Summit West followed with a 316 for the second and final automatic team berth for next week’s sectionals at WinterStone Golf Course.
    But, as Linke quipped, “We can still win state,” and Lee’s Summit North coach Kevin Harrison can make the same boast.
    North finished as the third-best team out of 10 with a 321 total, and all five Broncos were among the top 15 individuals not from Rockhurst or West – thus earning a ticket to WinterStone. Four of Linke’s Jaguars, also were among the individual qualifiers, as South finished with fourth as a team (327).
    Blue Springs (345) and Truman (362), with two sectional qualifiers each, followed in the team standings, and Raymore-Peculiar (364), Lee’s Summit (365), Belton (401) and Raytown (408) rounded out the field.
    Ryan Drake’s 5-over-par 77, including a 37 on the back nine, paced Blue Springs South’s effort and gave him all-district honors. Kyle Barbee, last week’s Suburban Big Six medalist, followed with an 82, and Jack Steinbeck and Bryan Hanneman each carded 84 to advance to sectionals. Trevor Palmer finished with 98.
    “I’m pleased they all made it to the next week,” Linke said of his top four. “We’ve been working on consistency all year, and that’s what we saw. No one was panicking. They realized that if they hit a bad shot, they could still overcome it.
    “He told me after 9, ‘I’ll shoot better on the back,’ and he did,” Linke said of Drake.
    Drake said he felt good about his round in part because of the excellent weather conditions – the warm sun and light breezes.
    “It was a really nice day,” he said. “I was hitting fairways and got up-and-down a couple times. I did well on the par 3s and had a couple lucky putts, but it also was a gorgeous day.
    “It’ll be fun for all of us to go together (to sectionals).”
    North’s Ian Mathewson posted the day’s third-best score with a 76, including a 36 on the front. Teammates Parker Davis and Keaton Black each shot 80 for all-district status (the cutoff was 81), Cole Ashby carded 85 and Trey DeRousse carded 88 to earn the last sectional ticket.
    “The front nine felt a lot better than the back nine,” Mathewson said. “The front I think I only missed two fairways and one green (in regulation), so I was hitting tee to green pretty good.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It was a good round for the tournament but an all right round for myself.”
    Blue Springs’ Jackson Koenig shot 81, including 37 on the back, to earn all-district, and Devin Hyman (84) also qualified for the sectionals. Steven Shaw (89) just missed a sectional berth, and Taylor Muller (91) and Brian Armstrong (94) rounded out the Wildcats’ effort.
    “We were trying to get three and maybe four pushed through (to sectionals),” Blue Springs coach Doug Gillispie said. “I’m proud of the effort they put forth. We had some guys who didn’t shoot the best round, but they kept with it and didn’t let the round explode on them.
    “It’s one of our lower scores for this year, which is what you want to see, and we get the whole crew back next year.”
    Truman’s Brian Billings shot 37 on the back nine to recover from a poor front and finish with an 82, and teammate Spencer Jones (85) also qualified for sectionals. Tanner Buettenbach (97), Blake Jones (98) and Dane Garcia (99) rounded out the Patriots' lineup.
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