High school golf season tees off

Cooper Sandheinrich 

Drivers, fairways and putts, oh my. The high school golf season is underway for local teams as players try to see how low they can go.

The Waterloo High School girls golf squad is off to a hot start to its season. 

After opening with a top  nine-hole team score of 165 at Mascoutah to top Okawville and Mascoutah last Monday, the Bulldogs shot a 160 at Acorns Golf Links in Waterloo last Tuesday to easily defeat Okawville and Dupo.

Reese Kite, Kami Cooper and Calli Smith all shot a 40 to share top honors at Mascoutah. 

Smith and Kite each shot a 37 to share top overall honors at Acorns.

Dupo was led in the match by Rylee Imhoff with a 59, followed by Maddie Ehrhardt with a 63.

On Friday, Waterloo placed fourth out of 14 teams at the Belleville West Invite with a 339. It was nine strokes behind first place O’Fallon. 

Smith placed sixth with an 18-hole score of 78, followed by Kite with an 82 and Cooper with a 87.

Columbia placed 12th at the invite with a 392, led by Julia Foster’s 92.

On Saturday, Waterloo place dfourth out of 18 teams in the Marquette Blastoff Tournament at Spencer T. Olin Golf Course in Alton with a 353.

Kite placed sixth with an 80, followed by Smith in eighth place with an 81. 

The Columbia girls golfers opened their season last Tuesday with a second place finish against Nashville, Breese Central and Freeburg. The Eagles shot a 197.

Sabrina Leingang led Columbia with a 49, followed by Ashley Behrmann with a 53.

Columbia head girls golf coach Matt Duguay said Foster and Leingang are two of his top returning players along with Ainslie Schrader and Mae Descher.  

“We have a number of players that will challenge them to play varsity including Ella Riley, Megan Elliott, Ashley Behrmann, Myscha Derickson, Macie Pulcher, Ariel Adams and Eva Descher,” Duguay said.  

One team strength for the Eagles, according to Duguay, is a large number of players who are working hard to improve.

“We may not have a dominant player, but we will have a number of players that on any given day will step up and score for us,” Duguay said.

As for boys golf, Waterloo, Columbia and Gibault have also begun their seasons.

The Bulldogs competed last Tuesday in the Alton Tee-Off Classic, placing ninth as a team with an 18-hole score of 334. 

Jaden Smith led the Bulldogs with a 77, followed by Cooper Sandheinrich with a 79 and Logan DeFosset with an 80.

The Columbia boys placed 15th as a team with a 344 in the same event, led by Carson Walton’s 78 and Alex Patrick with an 82.

On Thursday, Columbia shot a nine-hole score of 160 to place third in the Goalby/Haas Classic at St. Clair Country Club. That was nine strokes behind first place O’Fallon and seven strokes behind Althoff.

Walton shot a 38 to lead the Eagles.

In addition to Walton, Columbia head boys golf coach Tom Detmer says other key returning players include Alex Patrick and Mike Madlinger.

“In order for us to be competitive, these three must play well,” Detmer said. “The rest of the squad is very young and inexperienced.”

Early contenders  for the remaining three varsity spots, according to Detmer, are juniors Dallas Forgy and  Matt Heuman, sophomores  Jason Rahn and Jimmy Vonderhaar and freshmen Charlie Steckler, Jacob Hall and Drake Ramage.

Freshmen Hayden Hubbard, sophomore Ethan Ernst and junior Nick Janik are working hard to advance to that next level, Detmer added.

“As always, consistency and the ability to limit mistakes will be crucial for the growth of our young players in varsity level competition,” Detmer said.

Although some of these young men are not quite ready for prime time varsity competition, our hope is that they will grow into the roles rather quickly.”

Also fielding a young varsity boys golf squad this fall is Gibault, who has defeated Chester but lost to Mater Dei and Christ Our Rock Lutheran in the early going.

Ian Bollinger is the top returning golfer for the Hawks, and has impressed early on. He has shot nine-hole scores of 38, 38 and 36 for an average of 37.33.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.

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