The 2011 IHSA Boys & Girls Golf State Final Tournaments will unfold in the Bloomington-Normal and Decatur areas on Friday and Saturday, October 14-15.
GIRLS GOLF STATE FINALS PREVIEW
Red Tail Run Golf Course will serve as the host of the Class A State Finals, while the Class AA tourney will unfold at Hickory Pont Golf Club. The 2011 season marks the 37th annual IHSA Girls Golf State Finals and the sixth year of the two-class system, while Red Tail Run and Hickory Point are each in their second year of hosting.
The top three teams in the state from a year ago all return in Class A, including defending state champ St. Thomas More, who bested runner-up Massac County and third-place Nashville by 35 and 39 strokes, respectively, a year ago. Senior Sierra Myerscough led St. Thomas More at the state finals last year with a 168, good for 12th individually, and is one of four returnees with state final experience. Massac County does not lack for experience, with all six of its golfers from a year ago returning. Junior Kirsten Faulkner notched the team’s second-best score at state last year (178) and led the team in Sectionals (89) this season. Nashville’s Top 3 finish a year ago came with a trio of freshmen contributing, including Shawn Rennegarbe, who carded a 78 at Sectionals this week after tying for ninth at state a year ago with a 167. Meanwhile, three-time state champion Normal University High drops down to Class A this season and features junior Sheinnera Gerongay, who posted a Top 50 individual finish a year ago in Class AA, and Morgan Alewelt’s 81 led Rochester to Class A’s best Sectional team score this season (331).
Hillsboro senior Hannah Luckett is the top individual returnee in the class, as she placed fifth a year ago with a score of 164. Ridgewood’s Sabrina Bonanno tallied a 145 in 2010 in the Class AA state tourney to place second individually as a freshman in 2010 and followed with individual titles at the Regional (71) and Sectional (75) levels in 2011. Meanwhile, Gerongay’s teammate at U-High, senior Katherine Hepler, was the only Class A player in the state to break 70 in Sectional action (68) this year.
The Class AA field looks similar to a year ago, as eight of the 12 qualifying teams from 2010 return, including defending state champ New Trier and three other Top 5 finishers (Hinsdale Central-3rd, Prospect-4th, Loyola Academy-5th). The Trevians return senior Elizabeth Szokol, who placed fifth individually last year with a 149, from their state title team and feature a deep cast that saw all five of its golfers shoot 81 or better at Sectionals this season. Prospect will look to make a run at a team crown in 2011, despite losing its top scorer from a year ago, as the Knights still return three golfers who shot 176 or better at state last season, including senior Allison Walsh (166). Hinsdale Central is led by junior Rosanna Lederhausen, who tied for 11th individually last year with a 156 and won an individual Sectional title last week with a 70. Highland Park wasn’t a part of the state field in 2010, but the Bulldogs were one of two teams in Class AA (Loyola) to have three players shoot in the 70’s during Sectionals en route to a state-best Sectional round of 305. Highland Park is led by senior Jane Seder (74), while senior Nina Puch (75) is Loyola’s top returnee from last year’s squad.
Stevenson’s Stephanie Miller returns to defend her Class AA individual state title in 2011, as she looks to become the 10th two-time individual champion in state history after carding a 141 for a four-stroke victory a year ago. Crystal Lake Central sophomore Alexandra Harkins finished six shots behind Miller (147) last year to place fourth, while Barrington freshman Julia Calbi tallied a 70 to capture the individual Sectional crown at the Buffalo Grove Sectional this season, matching Lederhausen for the top Sectional score in Class AA.
BOYS GOLF STATE FINALS PREVIEW
The Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington will serve as the Class 1A host, while Illinois State University’s Weibring Golf Club in Normal and Bloomington’s The Den At Fox Creek Golf Course welcome the Class 2A and Class 3A fields, respectively. Prairie Vista is serving as an IHSA state final host for the 19th time, The Den for the 14th year and Weibring for the fifth time. The 2011 season marks the 95th annual IHSA Boys Golf State Finals and the fifth year of the three-class system.
The Class 1A field features only one returning team who qualified for the state field a year ago, as Effingham St. Anthony has managed to reload a year after placing second in the state in 2010. The Bulldogs graduated all six golfers who were a part of last year’s runner-up team, but junior Joe Powell has emerged as the leader of the 2011 group, as he posted a team-best 71 in Sectionals this season. Nashville posted the top Sectional score in Class 1A (313) behind a 76 from junior John Goodrich, while Freeport Aquin (320) and junior Michael Jacobs (79) weren’t far behind. Sectional team champs Bismarck-Henning (328) and Monmouth-Roseville (329) also captured team Sectional crowns in 2011 and each produced their Sectional’s individual champion as well in sophomore Andy Bott (73) and senior Kody Damewood (71), respectively. Before merging into the Monmouth-Roseville consolidation in 2005, Monmouth High School was a state golf power, winning eight team titles, including six straight from 1985 to 1990.
A senior laden individual scoreboard in 2010 means no chance for a repeat state champion in Class 1A in 2011. Brown County senior Alex Templin is the top returnee after tying for 20th last year with a 155. Breese Mater Dei senior Parker Lawrence matched Damewood’s 71 for the best Sectional score in Class 1A this year, while Alton Marquette’s Jack Kane was the lone golfer in the class to shoot in the 60’s during Regionals (69).
Mahomet-Seymour does not return to the Class 2A field to defend its title, leaving a slew of teams ready to wear the team crown in 2011. Belleville Althoff returns four golfers from last year’s third-place squad, including senior Sam Lidisky, whose 160 a year ago tied him for 14th individually. Galesburg features a balanced senior foursome, led by senior Kyle Osborn, who all shot between 167 and 169 at last year’s state meet en route to a fifth-place standing. The Silver Streaks quartet followed with efforts of 76 or better at Sectionals in 2011. Champaign Centennial senior Peter Black, the top individual returnee in the field after shooting a 157 a year ago to place sixth, is a key reason that the Chargers team qualified in 2011 after posting a class-best team score of 293 in Sectional action. Sterling and junior Andrew Blackburn look poised to improve on last year’s 12th place finish, as the Golden Warriors return four individuals who all shot 79 or better in Sectional action this season.
Springfield Lanphier senior Ben Patton and Burlington Central sophomore Matt Weber return as individual qualifiers a year after they each carded a 159 to tie for eighth, while Marion junior Jaret Brewer captured individual Regional and Sectional crowns in 2011, joining Black as the only golfer in the class to shoot in the 60’s during the Sectional round (68).
The Top 3 and six of the Top 10 teams overall from last year’s state meet return as team qualifiers in 2011, as Lake Forest prepares to defend its state title after holding off New Trier by four strokes (617-621) a year ago. The Scouts welcome back four players with state final experience, including senior Joe Willis, who tied for ninth-place individually in 2010 with a 152 to lead his team to the state championship. New Trier doesn’t return quite as much, but the Trevians and senior Brian Heck (tied for 17th in 2010 with a 156) have reloaded with a squad that shot a 301 en route to a 2011 Sectional title. Naperville North junior Raymond Knoll was the Huskies top player at state last year (150), placing fifth individually, and despite being the lone returnee from 2010’s third-place finisher, finds himself surrounded by five players who all shot 79 or better en route to Class 3A’s top Sectional score this season (296). Carmel was not a state qualifier a year ago, but the Corsairs matched Lake Forest shot-for-shot in Sectionals this season, as senior Brian Miller’s 70 helped Carmel tie Lake Forest for the Sectional team title, as both notched team totals of 301.
Crystal Lake South’s Nick Robles returns for another shot at the individual crown in 2011 after placing second a year ago. Robles fired a 148 over 36 holes a year ago, before being edged by a stroke by Waubonsie Valley’s Thomas O'Bryan on the second playof hole. Glenbrook South senior Quinn Prchal returns to field after tying for 11th individually a year ago (154), while Waubonsie Valley could have another contender in senior Alec Meyer, whose 69 was the top Sectional score in the class this year.
Class A-Red Tail Run Golf Course (Decatur)
Class AA-Hickory Point Golf Club (Decatur)
Class 1A-Prairie Vista Golf Club (Bloomington)
Class 2A-Illinois State University's Weibring Golf Club (Normal)
Class 3A-The Den At Fox Creek Golf Course (Bloomington)
There is no charge for admission at this event
A highlight package from each course will be posted on www.IHSA.tv in the days that follow the tournaments.