WHEELING — Maine South senior golfer Anthony Celiano aggravated a lingering injury to his left knee in a dual meet against New Trier on Sept. 22.
Celiano has dealt with the pain ever since. He said he considered pulling out of last week’s Central Suburban South meet, but he played through the pain and shot a 79.
Celiano limped around Tuesday’s Class 3A Notre Dame Regional at the Traditions at Chevy Chase Golf Course like Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open.
“Right now it’s hurting pretty bad,” Celiano said.
After Celiano shot a 77 at the regional, he said he isn’t sure of the extent of his knee injury. He added that the injury has actually helped his mentality on the course.
“I wasn’t even expecting to break 80 today,” Celiano said. “I haven’t been playing great [this season]. I’ve been kind of psyching myself out. Now it’s kind of a distraction for the better because I’m not expecting anything, and everything that’s coming to me is good and it’s a surprise. And I’m not getting mad at myself if I make an error, because I don’t have the expectations.”
Celiano will be joined by junior Tim Zelek (82), senior Thomas Jankowski (83) and freshman Michael George (85) at the New Trier Sectional on Monday. All four will compete as individuals because Maine South (327) finished fourth at the regional. The top three teams advanced.
Maine East senior Orion Yamat shot a 73 at the regional, which was the tournament’s second-lowest score, and advanced to the sectional with ease.
It was a score and a round that Yamat wasn’t satisfied with, however. He had a couple of three putts Tuesday and could have putted better, he explained afterward. If he can make putts at Monday’s sectional, he’s capable of shooting a low score.
“My swing is together,” Yamat said. “I’m striking the ball really well. It’s just I’ve got to get the putting together.”
Yamat has a busy week ahead of him, with school and preparing for the sectional. He also has a college visit at Loyola planned for Friday. The Ramblers are one of the men’s golf programs Yamat said he is considering. He’s also interested in Northern Illinois, Yale and Columbia.
Yamat will be the Blue Demons’ lone representative at Monday’s sectional. Senior Anthony Calderone shot an 86 on Tuesday and missed out on a playoff for the final two spots by one shot.
Last year, Notre Dame shot a 305 at the regional to advance to the sectional tournament as a team for the first time in program history.
The Dons’ score wasn’t that low Tuesday, but the result was the same. They finished second at their own regional — Prospect (299) was first — with a score of 322.
Junior Eric Pritt, whose 78 led the team, wasn’t part of Notre Dame’s postseason lineup a year ago. He admitted that he felt nervous at the start of his round at Chevy Chase, but he added that the program’s success at the regional last year provided the team with a lot of belief.
“We felt very confident,” Pritt said.
Senior Bryano Borges (80), freshman Jonathan Kendall (81) and senior David Steinle (83) also had their scores count toward the Dons’ team total.