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|5/22/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
Central makes return to state with third at districts
|By the slimmest of margins. Just three strokes separated the teams that finished second, third and fourth at Friday’s 3A district golf meet in Williamsburg. Centerville took second at the meet with a 330, while the Sabers were just two strokes behind them with a 332 and Fairfield was fourth with a 333. Central junior Trevor Green (top) helped the Sabers stay right with the Trojans with an 82 and the Sabers’ fourth score from Zach Eden proved to be the difference as Central’s third-place finish earned the Sabers a spot in this weekend’s state meet.|
By Ross Eberhart
They might have been playing nearly 100 miles from Springbrook, but the Central boys golf team still benefitted from some "home-course advantage" during Friday's 3A district meet in Williamsburg.
Stone Creek Golf Course may not offer the exact same comforts as home for the Sabers, but it did give Central something just as big - an extra opportunity to qualify for state.
In the postseason, the top-two scoring golf teams advance to the next round of play, unless one of those two teams is playing on its home course. When that happens a third team also qualifies, and with Williamsburg - one of four teams competing - calling Stone Creek home that meant a third was likely going to land a spot at state.
Sure enough, the Raiders took advantage of playing at home by cruising to a team title with a 316. That meant the three other teams competing - Central, Centerville and Fairfield - would battle for the final two spots.
And it was a tight struggle too as the three teams were separated by just three strokes.
Led by Alex Moorman, the defending 3A state individual champion, Centerville took second at the meet with a 330.
Just two strokes behind the Big Reds, though, were the Sabers, who claimed the extra spot with a 332 - one stroke ahead of Fairfield.
"Wow, what a finish," Central head coach Greg Weller said. "(We) advanced by just one stroke. We were waiting on the last group to come in for about 15-20 minutes - all four coaches and most parents were crunching numbers."
Fairfield carded a pair of 81s and had an 82 for its first three scores, while Central got 82s from both Trevor Green and Brice Bowen and an 83 from junior Grant Henning.
The Sabers, though, got a big round of 85 from sophomore Zach Eden meaning the Trojans had to have a fourth-score of 88 or better.
The final score came in as an 89, giving the Sabers the one-stroke edge they needed to advance to this weekend's state meet in Ames.
Green was a model of consistency for the sabers as he carded a 41 on both the front and back nines for his 82.
The junior even parred five holes in both stretches with his 41 on the back nine being the second-best score for the Sabers.
Bowen, meanwhile, had a fantastic front nine for the Sabers as he birdied back-to-back holes (eight and nine) and parred four others as part of a 38.
The senior added four more pars on the back nine and shot a 44 for his 82.
Henning also had a strong opening nine as he parred six holes and finished with a 40. The junior parred four-straight holes after the turn as well for a 43 and the 83.
Eden finished off his front nine with a flurry, parring five of the last six holes as part of a 41.
The sophomore added a par on the 11th hole of the back nine for a 44 and the 85.
Finishing things off for the Sabers were a pair of seniors - Mitch Scott and Allen Mumm.
Both played their best golf after the turn. Scott tied Green with a team-high five pars on the back nine and shot a 42, while adding a 45 on the back nine and an 87 overall.
Mumm, meanwhile, had Central's only birdie of the back nine on the par-five 18th hole and added four pars as part of a team-best 40.
Mumm added a 47 on the front to tie Scott with an 87.
"The team has golfed with six solid scorers all season long," Weller said. "They know that any one of the guys can be in our top-four scorers - it is a relief to know that, but coaches still get nervous in golf meets.
"I'm very proud of this group."
Sabers among nine teams to compete at 3A state meet
This year's Central squad will be just the fourth team in program history to make the state golf meet as they hit the course Friday and Saturday at Ames Golf and Country Club.
Ironically, the Sabers were in Ames for their last trip to state in 2008, but at a different course. That group finished seventh with a two-day total of 681.
This year's Central squad will look to improve on that finish as part of a nine-team field that includes just two returnees from last year.
Of course, those returnees - Decorah and Clear Lake - finished first and second respectively at last year's meet. The former team posted the lowest score in the district meets with a 299, while Clear Lake (coached by Central grad Eric Perry) shot a 309.
Atlantic and Creston/Orient-Macksburg both shot 304s at district play, while Central's score of 332 ranks seventh in the competition.
Play will begin Friday at 12 p.m. and conclude on Saturday beginning at 8 a.m., weather permitting.
It will be the third state appearance for head coach Greg Weller, who is retiring at season's end. The 2007 team led by Weller had Central's top state finish when they took fifth.
"This has been a wonderful way to end my 12-year career coaching the Saber golf team," Weller said. "What a way for any coach to walk away - at the state golf meet with his team."
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