When Ethan Bradshaw learned that there would be no golf his senior year at Truman High School, the Patriots’ No. 1 golfer was disappointed.
"He’s worked so hard on his game, I think this year he could have made a deep postseason run," Truman coach Joey Penner said Tuesday afternoon at Drumm Farm Golf Club. "Then, we found out that the Independence School District was going to let us play one match – against our rival, William Chrisman – and he, and the rest of the guys were really excited."
That excitement helped Bradshaw shoot a 44 in a blazing sun to lead the Patriots to a 224-229 victory over the Bears. Chrisman freshman Trey Kates shot a 49 to finish second in his first varsity match.
"It’s pretty cool that we were able to play today," Bradshaw said. "When everything was closed down, none of us ever thought this would happen. Then, we found out we were going to play Chrisman and we all got pretty excited."
And that excitement carried over to Penner, whose sunburned face looked like he had spent some time on the surface of the sun.
"Given the amount of the letdown, when the guys found out there wasn’t going to be a golf season, I would say there was that much excitement for today – for them and me," Penner said.
"Our guys worked hard to get ready for their one match today, and I think it’s fitting that it was a close match against our best rival. That makes it even more special."
Following Bradshaw’s 44, Ben Day shot 53, Kaleb Strezoski 62 and Cole Dockins 65 for the Patriots.
Following Kates’ 49, Isaiah Jackson shot 54, Zach Heckman and Dalton Thomas each carded a 63, Sam Hawley 67 and Brandon Hallman 69.
"I had a lot of fun out there," said Kates, who is also a pitcher and first baseman for the Bears baseball team. "I had a couple of tough holes, or my score would have been better, but it’s great to get my first varsity match in as a freshman."
Bradshaw said Kates pushed him the entire match.
"We were paired together and he played some great golf," Bradshaw said. "I didn’t catch him until the last couple of holes. He made me play my best to win."
Like Penner, Chrisman coach John Beaman was thrilled with the lone match.
"I’m very happy for all the kids on both teams," Beaman said. "We went from the disappointment of no season to the thrill of one match against Truman.
"It was hot, and I think everyone is happy we just played nine holes today, but it was something none of us will forget."