Kohlin Hicks’ biggest fan couldn’t wait to give her big brother a hug and to take a look at his medal.
The Lee’s Summit North senior fired a 77 to tie Rockhurst’s John Dwyer for medalist honors at Monday’s Class 4 District 7 Tournament at the par-72 Fred Arbanas Golf Course at Longview Lake in Lee’s Summit.
“I’m good luck for my brother,” said 5-year-old Zoë Hicks, as she hugged Kohlin with one arm and looked at his medal with another. “He’s good – real good.”
A grinning big brother nodded in agreement.
Hicks was just one of many Eastern Jackson County golfers who advanced to next week’s Class 4 sectional tournament at Tiffany Greens Golf Club in Kansas City North.
Every member of the second-place Blue Springs South golf team – Grant Wall (86), Ryan Dykehouse (87), Ryan Cunningham (87), Dylan Boyer (89) and Grant Williamson (89) – would have advanced even if the team didn’t finish second. Blue Springs’ Ben Podjenski (87), Seth Wildoner (98), Blake Whetstone (87) and Blake Rooney (90) also advanced; Lee’s Summit North’s Raef Campbell and Liam Frank will join Hicks as they each shot a 94; and Fort Osage’s Mallecki Terrazzas (97) moves on as well.
Rockhurst shot a 314 to run away with the team title and South shot a 349, to edge Lee’s Summit West (350) for second place. The top two teams and next 15 low scores advance to next week’s sectional tourney.
It was a big day for Hicks, who is an employee at the Arbanas course, which is also the home of the Broncos golf team.
“I do everything here,” Hicks said when asked about his duties at the course. “And I get to play a lot here, too. I pretty much know everything about the course and I really like playing here.”
Hicks was not happy with a 40 on the front nine, but he bounced back with a 37 on the back nine to tie for medalist honors.
“This is my home course and I feel good every time I play here, but I did not play that well on my first nine holes,” he explained. “But I shot a one over (37) on the next nine and I was really happy with that.
“It’s fun to be here and celebrate with my teammates (Campbell and Frank), who are also going to sectionals. And my family is here and that makes it even more special.”
North coach Kevin Harrison was thrilled for his trio of golfers who will travel to Tiffany Greens next Monday.
“The guys have worked hard, and that hard work paid off today,” Harrison said after his team totaled 368 to finish fifth. “Kohlin works here and he expected to have a big day and he did. He works so hard and has really become a great young golfer.
“He was talking about a ‘terrible’ front nine, and that is just Kohlin – he is very critical and demanding of his game. I thought he played great today and it’s always good to see hard work pay off, especially when it means you get to play another day.”
Blue Springs South coach Casey Enright was thrilled with his team’s consistency as just three strokes separated his No. 1 and No. 5 players. Despite going to sectionals as a team, every Jaguar shot low enough to advance on his own.
“Consistency has been a strength for our team all year,” Enright said. “Especially with our top four guys. Ryan Cunningham (87) was huge for us today. That’s one of his best rounds and it’s one of the reasons that we were able to finish in second place.
“The guys all did well enough to advance on their own, but it’s nice to go to sectionals as a team. I’m really proud of our second-place finish.”
And Blue Springs coach Doug Gillispie was pleased that four of his Wildcats would play in sectional action next Monday.
“I know the guys aren’t happy with their scores, but they are excited to be playing next week,” said Gillespie, whose team finished fourth at 362. “The conditions weren’t ideal, although it turned out to be a pretty nice day.
“We’re all disappointed that Caden Jackley – who has been one of our most consistent golfers this year – didn’t advance. He has been battling some back issues, and his 105 is a direct result of those issues. He hasn’t shot above a 91 this year.
“It’s a tough break for a great young man.”
Jace Collum shot 104 and Brad Kitsmiller 107 to lead Grain Valley (438), which finished seventh. Truman Greicher shot 106 and Justice Fluty 116 to pace eighth-place Fort Osage (450). Ethan Bradshaw shot 102 and Aidan Williams 107 to lead ninth-place Truman (469).
CLASS 3 DISTRICT 7: Oak Grove will send two golfers to next week’s sectional tournament.
Dalton Gorham shot 85 to tie for 13th and Kalen Kemp fired a 98 to tie for 20th and earn individual berths into the sectional tournament next Monday at Excelsior Springs Golf Course. Olivia Johnson narrowly missed qualifying, shooting 104 to finish 34th.
Oak Grove totaled 392 to finish sixth as a team at the Mules National Golf Club in Warrensburg. Pembroke Hill, led by medalist August Hoffman’s 73, claimed the team title with a 307 total.