Geneva sends retiring coach out in style by winning UEC River title

SHARE Geneva sends retiring coach out in style by winning UEC River title

Wednesday marked the 30th and final conference tournament for retiring Geneva boys golf coach Bill Koehn, and the Vikings made the event memorable.

Geneva capped a 6-0 regular season in the Upstate Eight River by shooting a 310 Wednesday at St. Andrews to win the conference tournament by nine strokes over St. Charles North. It gives Koehn 10 conference titles in his 30 years at the helm.

“To win a third of your conference tournaments in that time is pretty cool,” Koehn said. “I’ve just had some really good kids. They listen to you, they work really hard. It’s really been fun working with them. I’ve enjoyed it. I couldn’t ask for a nicer bunch of guys to work with. The coaches in this division have just been super.”

Geneva teammates Nate Desens and Graham Lillibridge were in a battle for UEC River Player of the Year honors.

Desens, the senior, topped his freshman teammate 74 to 78 to win POY honors.

“He’s been a great leader and role model,” Koehn said of Desens. “He didn’t want to lose to the freshman today. It was very important for him to go out and do the best job he could do. He’s very well-respected. He’s just a classy kid.”

Desens hasn’t always had great success at St. Andrews, but his 74 Wednesday was his low at the course.

“It makes it easier just to know where to put the ball on some holes and where you can hit driver and where you shouldn’t hit driver,” Desens said of his familiarity with the course. “It’s pretty tough. They really tipped it out today. There were some long holes out there.”

Alex Schreiber and Matt Fisher each shot 79s to round out Geneva’s card.

St. Charles North took second with a 319, three strokes ahead of rival St. Charles East.

But the Saints still had enough points in the season standings to finish second behind Geneva.

“Geneva played well, give them credit,” East coach John Stock said. “They have four scores under 80, we had two. We had some guys that didn’t play very well today. Geneva beat us by two at their home course and they came out today and sent a message. We’ll have to come out and play better (at regionals) Tuesday.”

Luke Molloy led the way for East out of the sixth spot in the lineup with a 78.

Connor McAdam shot a 79. St. Charles North was strong at the top with Matt Samuelson shooting a 75 and a defending conference champion Raghav Cherala firing a 77.

The division had 10 players break 80. Jon Lenz (75) and Dan Lenz (79) of Larkin were two of them, leading the Royals to a fourth-place finish with a 324. Batavia’s Jacob Piechota shot an 80 to fuel the Bulldogs’ 338. Streamwood shot a 370 to finish sixth.

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