ATTICA — When all was said and done it all four area boys golf teams had something to be proud of at the Attica Sectional at Harrison Hills Golf Club. North Montgomery, Southmont, Crawfordsville and Fountain Central not only had to battle the tricky course but also the hot weather as temperatures creped up into the low 90’s on Friday. At the conclusion of the meet both North Montgomery and Southmont advanced with 2nd and 3rd place finishes respectively to advance as a team to next week’s Regional. The Chargers shot a 335 and edged out the Mounties by three strokes as South ended with a 338. Tri-West took the sectional title finishing three strokes better than the Chargers with a 332.
Crawfordsville’s Tanner Gilland and Fountain Central’s Jaylin Payne both advanced to the Regional as individuals with 81’s.
For the Chargers it had been since 2006 since the team had advanced to the Regional and in coach Bob Ryker’s’ second season with the team he and the Chargers were able to snap the lengthy 17-year drought. Senior Hayden Turner led the way with an 80 and took home the overall medalist after defeating Parke Heritage’s Treigh Schelsky on the second playoff hole. In the first playoff hole Turner hit a 10 foot put to force a another hole.
“I double bogeyed to end the day so I still wasn’t happy with how I finished,” Turner said. “But on that first playoff hole on 18 I knew I was going to get a second chance and I took advantage of it. I got a little lucky with his tee shot going out on the second hole but I’ll take it at the very end of the day.”
Along with Turner’s 80, sophomore Neal Jeffery carded an 83 with senior Drew Norman firing an 85 including a phenomenal shot from in the woods on 18 to make birdie to end his day. Alex Chapman rounded out the scoring for the Chargers with an 87 while Haze Kashon shot a 91.
“I’m super happy for Hayden because he deserves this,” Charger coach Bob Ryker said of his senior. “He’s now the conference and sectional champion and I think he’s one of the best golfers to come through our school. We would have loved to win it because we know that we could’ve but I’m still proud of our entire team for extending their season’s one more week as we now get ready for the Regional.”
While the competition will be the toughest the Chargers have seen all season at next week’s Regional which will take place at Coyote Crossing in West Lafayette, Ryker is going to have his team ready to go out and not back down. North Montgomery will see the likes of Guerin Catholic, Carmel, Westfield and most of the big Indy area schools.
“It doesn’t matter who is there,” Ryker said. “We’re going to go out and play the best that we can and prove ourselves that we belong there. I fully expect to go out there and have our guys shoot a season best.”
Southmont will be back at the Regional yet again after their third place finish. The Mounties were led by seniors Nolan Allen and Harrison Haddock who both ended their days with an 82. Freshman Austin Foley fired an 86 while senior Luke Tesmer shot an 88.
Longtime South coach Bill Whalen, who always holds his teams to a high standard left knowing that his team probably should’ve been hoisting another sectional trophy.
“They don’t hand out too many trophies for finishing third,” Whalen said. “We didn’t come here to finish third, we came here to defend our sectional title. About the only positive to me that came out of today is that we don’t have to travel down to Washington for the Regional. Our kids and most importantly this senior class gets one more week together.”
Crawfordsville ended their season as a team with a 366 as Gilland moves on as an individual. To go along with his 81, Braxton Smith shot a 92, Carter Truax a 95 and both Thomas Bowling and Hayden Jeffries ended with 98’s. Coach Tom Perkins noted how he was obviously happy with Gilland for making it back to the Regional as Gilland was battling a bad case of poison ivy the entire day.
“Tanner was a flat out warrior today and I told him that after he walked off the 18th green,” Perkins said. “He was in pain today but kept fighting and making birdies. From a team standpoint I’m a little disappointed because we came over and a great practice round. Our kids, me included thought that we had a shot. No one was able to really play well on the front side. Overall I’m happy with the overall progress we made this year. We’re already looking forward to next season with having everyone back.”
North Montgomery, Southmont, Gilland and Payne all advance to next Friday’s Regional where once again the top three teams and top two individuals will qualify for the State Finals.
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