NORTHRBOOK — After finishing second to Glenbrook South in the Central Suburban South tournament last week, the New Trier boys golf team answered its “wake-up call,” according to coach Pete Drevline.
Led by junior Matt Murlick, the Trevians captured the Class 3A Glenbrook North Regional team title with a 285 Tuesday at Sportsman’s Country Club.
“We had a good pep talk [Monday], and the guys were ready to go,” Drevline said. “We are one step closer to our goal of getting back to the state tournament.”
Murlick eagled the first hole on his way to winning the regional title with an even-par 70. His success came in spite of the fact he was making his first appearance in the state series.
“I knew I had it in me to come out and play well,” said Murlick, who shot a 2-under 33 on the back nine.
Senior Jack Junge, a co-state champion in 2012, and sophomore Justin Choi both shot 71s to tie for second place. Junior Andrew Huber followed with a 73, which tied him for eighth.
Glenbrook North finished second with a 294, and Loyola took third at 300. Both teams will join the Trevians at next week’s sectional tournament at Winnetka Golf Club. The state tournament is Oct. 17-18 at The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington.
A member of the Glenbrook North JV team to start the season, sophomore Charlie Van Cleeve said he didn’t think he’d be playing golf for the Spartans at this time of the year.
But there he was Tuesday at Sportman’s Country Club, shooting a season-low 72 to tie for fifth and leading the Spartans to second place with a 294.
“I was not expecting anything really this year,” said Van Cleeve, who’s played in only four 18-hole tournaments. “I thought if I got pulled up [to varsity], I wouldn’t play that much. But I’ve played quite a bit.”
Van Cleeve, who grew up admiring 2014 graduates Nick Hardy and Brian Ohr, said he was more nervous Monday night than he was on the first tee Tuesday morning. He also said playing in the first wave of groups helped take some of the pressure off of him.
“The worry was who was going to be the sixth guy this season,” Glenbrook North coach Justin Gerbich said. “Charlie’s a grinder, and he was a good find for us.”
Junior Daniel Cole (72), senior Matt Kull (74) and senior Luke Oberholtzer (76) rounded out the scoring for the Spartans. Glenbrook North will be looking to qualify for its third consecutive trip to the state tournament at Monday’s sectional.
“This feels really good to follow in the footsteps of players like Nick and Brian,” Van Cleeve said. “It’s kind of like a dream.”
None of the Ramblers played their best golf Tuesday, but they did enough to shoot 300, take third place and extend their season another week.
“[Tuesday] was about advancing, not necessarily trying to be the best,” Loyola coach Tim Kane said. “I know we can play better. I was a little disappointed in how we played, but I hope we use that as fuel to move us forward.”
Junior Michael Banas and freshman Bennett Cotten led Loyola with 74s to tie for 10th as individuals. Senior Nick Rossini came in at 75, and freshman John Kryscio shot a 77.
The Titans missed the cut as a team by finishing fourth with a 308, but four of Glenbrook South’s golfers will play another week.
Junior Grant Reese (72), sophomore Charlie Nikitas (77), senior Peter Leftakes (79) and junior Nick Campobasso (80) all earned at-large berths into the sectional tournament. The top 10 players not on qualifying teams advanced.
Reese, who finished tied for fifth, said he’s turned things around after slumping at the start of the season. He shot a 76 at the conference tournament last week before posting his second-best score of the year Tuesday.
“My ball-striking, my short game, nothing was really good,” Reese said. “I finally started playing better about a week ago. I kept the ball in play [Tuesday], and my short game was really good. I just wanted to put up a good number for the team.”
A regional champion a year ago, the Wildkits placed sixth this season with a 313. But the team still sent three individuals to Monday’s sectional tournament at Winnetka Golf Club.
Senior Bill Nondorf, a member of last year’s team that tied for seventh at the state tournament, tied for eighth at the regional with a 73. Junior Nick Lydon also made the cut with his 78. Senior Gil Hurtig shot 81 and had to survive a four-person, sudden-death playoff for one of the final two sectional spots.
Junior Skylar Le Vine tied for second place with a 71 and was one of three Wolves to qualify for the sectional tournament as an individual. Senior Bennett Underwood (77) and Tawfic Khoury (81) were the others.
Niles West finished fifth as a team with a 311.
Kyle Mikota (97) and Sam Eschker (98) were the top scorers for the Vikings (398) at Sportsman’s Country Club.