The Northview golf team kept its season going with an impressive third-place finish at the Washington Regional Thursday. The performance was enough to advance the Knights to next week's State Championship match in Franklin.
One year after a disappointing effort in the same tournament, the Knights improved their score from a year ago by a whopping 48 strokes. Coach Scott Buell said no thought was put into last years performance, where his players were hampered by 40 mph winds.
"Last year was a fluke," Buell said. "Four of our five guys had their worst scores ever. We weren't thinking about that at all."
While conditions were somewhat improved, the Knights did have to endure off-and-on rain throughout the day, as well as increased competition. But Northview overcame all obstacles it faced, including a fifth-place standing heading into the back nine, to narrowly grab the third and final qualifying spot from Castle and Evansville Central, both finishing three shots behind Northview.
Beating out Northview were Evansville North and Terre Haute South, who compiled scores of 307 and 312.
The Knights advanced via a steady approach, as opposed to flashing individual efforts. While no one on the Northview team placed in the top 10, all five players shot under 85. Top performers were Austin Akers who shot a 78 and Kade Baker, who placed right behind him at 79.
"We're a very experienced team," Buell said. "We've handled adversity well all year and I think we will be able to do so again next week."
Buell gave a thanks to all of the Northview community for continued support throughout the season, and said it added even more gratification to what was already a celebratory event.
"We made a goal at the beginning of the season saying we could get to the state finals," Buell said. "It's very satisfying to set that goal as a team and you achieve it. It's very exciting."
The Knights will compete for the State Title at the Legends Course in Franklin next Tuesday. This marks the second appearance in the state championship match for the school, who previously qualified for the event in 2000.
Another local competitor taking to the course Thursday was Clay City senior Kyler Rhodes. Rhodes got off to a shaky start, shooting 59 on the front nine, which would eventually doom him. Though he stormed back with a much more impressive 42 on the back nine, his score of 101 was not enough to advance. The performance was 18 shots higher than his sectional output, in which he was one of three individual performers not on winning schools to advance.
Though his final showing was not as impressive as he may have liked, it was a capper to a pretty impressive run by the senior Rhodes, who had never golfed competitively before. He also split time between golf and baseball this season, making his rise thorough the sectional ranks all the more impressive.
Eels' coach Chris Ames was very praiseful of his players effort.
"(Kyler) did a great job coming from the baseball field to the gold course and contributing to our success," Ames said. "I know he's disappointed but he's a competitor and he bounced back, composed himself and finished strong. I'm pretty impressed with him."
Washington Golf Regional
At Country Oaks Golf Course
Lowest three teams advance to State Finals:
Evansville North 307, T.H. South 312, Northview 322, Castle 325, Evansville Central 325, Jasper 333, T.H. North 340, Heritage Hills 343, Springs Valley 345, South Knox 348, North Knox 358, Washington 359
David Mills (EN) 74, Thomas Goss (THS) 74, Adam Schenk (SK) 74, Ryan Terry (Signature) 76, Max Bowling (EN) 76, Dilan Arnold (HH) 76, Jackson Jarvis (THS) 76, Tyler Perrott (VL) 77, Griffen Brown (Paoli) 77, Tom Sutherlin (C) 77
Kade Baker 79, Austin Akers 78, Drew Snyder 85, Ryan Turner 82, Daniel Eaglin 83
T.H. South (312)
Thomas Goss 72, Zach Hosking 74, Shelby Stewart 88, Brock Welch 84, Jackson Jarvis 76
T.H. North (340)
Jeff Ackman 79, James Kaperak 94, Nick Parham 88, Ryan Sneddon 90, John Pollock 83
Kyler Rhodes 101
Individuals Advancing Without a Team
Adam Schenk (SK) 74, Tyler Merkel (EC) 75, Ryan Terry (Signature) 76, Dilan Arnold (HH) 76
Next Match: State Championship Match at the Legends Course in Franklin, next Tuesday.