Loyola freshman Bennett Cotten and New Trier junior Andrew Huber played at their first boys golf state tournament last weekend.
Despite not having any experience in the biggest event of the season, Cotten and Huber led their respective teams in scoring at the Class 3A state tournament.
Cotten finished fifth after rounds of 77-72 for a 5-over 149 at The Den at Fox Creek in Bloomington. He was nine strokes back of champion Kenneth Li, a junior from Hinsdale Central. Huber tied for sixth (76-74—150). Both Cotten and Huber earned all-state honors, which are awarded to the top 10 golfers.
“I was nervous on the first day, but I was playing like myself again on the second day,” Cotten said.
Cotten and Huber both did their best to minimize mistakes, and they said they understood par was a great score on every hole. Neither Cotten nor Huber made more than one double bogey over the 36 holes.
“You go down there, and it’s usually tough conditions, so you want to stay away from the big numbers,” Huber said. “You don’t have to go out there thinking you have to make a ton of birdies. You can even make a few bogeys, and you will be in the hunt at the end of the day.”
The Trevians couldn’t catch Hinsdale Central, though, and took second place at 30 over (303-303—606). The Red Devils won their third Class 3A title in a row at 9 over, shooting a 3-under 285 on the final day.
“I was happy with my scores overall, and they were about what I was guessed they would be,” Huber said. “But I didn’t really know what to expect. I was only thinking about doing whatever I could to best help the team. We did what we could, but Hinsdale Central played great golf.”
Loyola tied for ninth with Glenbrook North at 61 over.
North Shore Country Day
Once again, the Raiders placed second in Class 1A to El Paso-Gridley. Once again, the Raiders were undone on the first day by the back nine at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.
“I don’t know what it is,” North Shore Country Day coach Joe Bosco said. “I plan to call a meeting with the team and do a de-brief. This was the second year in a row this happened.”
North Shore Country Day was in first place by three strokes after the front nine on the first day, but the Raiders went into the second round down nine to the Titans, who eventually won their second consecutive Class 1A state championship by 10.
North Shore Country Day’s six players shot a combined 40 over on the back nine during the first round.
“We got to the turn, and we were very excited,” Bosco said. “We certainly thought we would have a different outcome, but I am proud of how the boys played and handled themselves down there.”
Senior Sam Reategui, a four-year varsity player, tied for 10th after carding 78-76 for a 10-over 154 to become an all-state selection.
“I really felt like at the beginning of the season we had a chance to be stronger than in past years, and that’s saying a lot,” said Bosco, who has guided the Raiders to Class 1A state titles in 2011 and 2012 in his five seasons. “Even though we didn’t win it, we are a powerhouse and have a mini-dynasty going at the school, which is a cool thing to see.”
• The Ramblers should welcome back four players who were in the lineup at The Den at Fox Creek last weekend. In addition to Cotten, freshman John Kryscio (T67), junior Matt Jacobson (T67) and junior Michael Banas (T91) all played two rounds. Loyola loses seniors Tyler Aldrich (T83) and Nick Rossini (T105) to graduation.
• Glenbrook North and New Trier each must replace three seniors. New Trier senior Jack Junge, a co-state champion in 2012, closed out his career by tying for 79th after shooting 87-78 for 21-over 165.
• Making his first appearance at the Class 3A state tournament, New Trier sophomore Justin Choi followed Huber and tied for 12th after posting 73-78 for a 7-over 151.
• Another Class 3A rookie, Glenbrook South junior Grant Reese tied for 26th at 10 over.
• Matt Kull, a senior, paced Glenbrook North by carding a 160 and tying for 53rd.
• Maine South senior Anthony Celiano tied for 76th (164) in Class 3A and junior teammate Tim Zelek tied for 101st (171).
• In Class 1A, Northridge senior Joseph Egan took 13th (155) and Knights junior Paul DiFranco tied for 20th (159).