As expected Byron ran away with the 1A Rockford Christian Life golf regional at Elliot Golf Course. Led by medalist Dan Lowe (77), the Tigers had a score of 315
In a close battle for second place on the 6,600-yard par-72 course, Oregon edged Rockford Christian 341 to 347.
The top three teams qualify for the sectional. Forreston was fourth at 359 and Polo eighth at 399 in the 12-team event.
“In the seven years I’ve been coaching, this is the first time I’ve had a team qualify for the sectional,” Oregon coach Jim Spratt said.
Taylor Brubaker and Carson Buck paced the Hawks with an 83 and 84. Other scorers were Ben
Gardner with an 86 and Mitch Nehrhorn with an 88. Justin Provo and Matt Murray rounded out the top six.
“Brubaker bounced back after a 44 on his first nine,” Spratt said. “I told him not go get down on himself.”
Oregon returned to 1A action after being bumped up to 2A in 2012. Nehrhorn and Gardner did qualify for the sectional last year.
The sectional will be played at Prarieview in Byron.
“We know the course well enough to be competitive,” Spratt said. “The kids played there all summer.”
Forreston had two individual qualifiers in Brock Wolf and Markus Edler.
“We put ourselves in the mix to qualify as a team,” Forreston coach Matt Hanley said.
Wolf led the Cardinals with an 86. After that, it was a model of consistency with 90 by Markus Edler, 91 by Tyler Newcomer, 92 by Jordan Ludwig, 93 by Jonah Drake and 94 by freshman Brian Edler.
Forreston will lose all those golfers, other than the Edler brothers.
“It was a really successful season,” Hanley said. “We were 11-2 in conference, 15-3 overall and fourth at the conference meet.”
Polo’s best shot at making it as an individual was Dylan Bushman, but he came up short. As a team, the Marcos stumbled a bit.
“It was a little disappointing,” Polo coach Don Reece said. “We didn’t play to our average or do as well as we did at the conference.”
In recapping the season, Reece saws positives and negatives.
“Overall, I wasn’t satisfied with the season, but happy that we beat three teams (Aquin, Eastland, East Dubuque) at the conference meet that beat us in the regular season,” said Reece, whose team took seventh out of 14 schools NUIC. “We shot our lowest score (363) since 2005.”
The Marcos lose Bushman, Travis VanDrew and Owen Bailey. Returning will be junior Matthew Handel, sophomores Brix Clayton and Tristan Woodin, along with freshman Chris Rademacher.
“We’ll also have Alina Llanas’ younger brother coming in,” Reece said. “Hopefully, things will be looking up.”