If coach Casey Enright’s Blue Springs South boys golf team needed any extra motivation headed into Monday’s Class 4 District 7 tournament at Fred Arbanas Golf Course at Longview Lake, the Jaguars got it last Monday at Adams Pointe Golf Club, where they lost the Suburban Big Seven Conference title to Lee’s Summit West by one stroke.
“I don’t know if you need any extra motivation heading into district, but I know our guys were really disappointed to lose to West by one stroke,” said Enright, whose team shot 339 to finish second to state power Rockhurst (312) but four strokes ahead of West to advance as a team to next week’s sectional tournament at Creekmoor Golf Club in Raymore.
The two top teams – and next 15 finishers who were not on the Hawklets or Jaguars – advance to next week’s sectional. Lee’s Summit West finished in third with a team score of 343.
“I was really happy with the way our kids played today,” Enright said. “It was so windy out there and I didn’t hear a complaint. We all talked this morning about what we needed to do to have a successful tournament and I told them to pay attention to every shot and not take anything for granted.
“And that’s what they did. On a very windy day, they played some of their best golf of the season, and this is the time of year you want to be playing your best golf.”
Rockhurst’s Michael Bessenbacher was the medalist, shooting a 75. South’s Dylan Boyer, who fired an 82, and Miles Buttress and Ryan Dykehouse, who each shot 84, turned in the area’s low scores.
“I went out today and was confident from the first hole,” Boyer said. “I never got ahead of myself or paid any attention to the wind. It was windy for everyone and I just went out and imagined I was playing in a PGA event with a cheering gallery.
“That got me pumped up and I did OK. But the best thing about today is that I got to share it with my teammates, all my friends. For all of us to go to sectional next week is so cool.”
Buttress agreed, adding, “It was windy out there, that’s for sure, but we all played through it and get to go to sectional as a team. And that was one of our goals. And after finishing second to Lee’s Summit West at conference last week, it was great to be able to shoot a lower score than they had today and go to sectional as a team.”
Grant Williamson (86) and Grant Wall (87) rounded out South’s card.
Blue Springs will also get to compete as a team at sectional because it was able to qualify four individuals.
“We get to go to sectional and have a team score, which I think is the first time it’s been done in at least the last 10 years at Blue Springs High School,” Wildcats coach Doug Gillispie said after his team shot 362. “I was out on the course and saw a big gust of wind blow a ball three or four feet on the putting green. It was that windy out there today, and our guys handled it well.”
Advancing for the Wildcats are Ben Podjenski (89), Zach VanDorn (89), Caden Jackley (92) and Blake Whetstone (92). Seth Widoner shot 100.
“Going to sectional as a sophomore is pretty amazing, a great feeling,” Podjenski said, “but going with three of my teammates makes it even better.”
Grain Valley senior Colton Barnes thought his world was crumbling down around him when he was cut from the Eagles baseball team his freshman year.
“As it turned out, I guess it wasn’t that bad since I got in contact with Coach (Andy) Herbert to see if I could try out for the golf team,” said Barnes, who shot an 85 Monday to advance to sectional play. “Now, golf is a pretty big part of my life. And to go to sectional for first time, as a senior, is very special. I worked so hard the past year and all that hard work paid off today.”
The only person sporting a bigger smile than Barnes was his coach, who uses the senior as a selling point for young golfers.
“For Colton to make sectionals, after really just picking up a golf club as a freshman, is a testimony to his work ethic and dedication to golf,” Herbert said. “I can point him out to a young member of the team and say, ‘Colton was where you are a freshman and look at home much he has improved.’ I couldn’t be any prouder of him.”
Tye Bartlett shot 93 to just miss for the Eagles (393), and he was followed by Jace Collum (97), Jake Halteman (112) and Brady Kitsmiller (118).
Lee’s Summit North will send two to the sectional tournament. Michael Foster and Kohlin Hicks each shot 86 to advance. The Broncos totaled 365. They were followed by Ryan Franks (95), Brock Witmer (98) and Hamza Masud (100).
Truman’s Damon Freers also missed the cut by a stroke, shooting 93. He was followed by Logan Freers (96), Ethan Bradshaw (100), Karl Manoza (108) and Jacob Freers (111) as the Patriots shot 397.
CLASS 4 DISTRICT 8: Alec McFarland fired a 92 to capture a sectional berth in the Class 4 District 8 Tournament Monday at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex.
The Bears shot 470 as a team to finish seventh. Fort Osage was eighth at 472.
McFarland is only the fourth Chrisman boys golfer to advance past the district tournament and the first since Jake Becker in 2015.
“I was also pleased with the results from sophomore Braden Jennings, who was second on the squad with a 104. This Braden's first season on the golf team and has only been playing golf since last summer,” Chrisman coach John Beaman said. “We were disappointed that four-year letterman and senior Eli Martin was unable to compete today due to an injury, ending his Chrisman golf career. We wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
Juniors Aaron Burton and Hunter Clark rounded out the card with a 124 and 150, respectively.
Truman Gricher and Jayden Richardson each shot 108 to lead Fort Osage. Devin Morrow (126), Kobe Rawlings (130) and Justice Fluty (135) rounded out the Indians’ card.