By James Kay
Every week, we cover a different sport and talk to each coach at the varsity level. This week, we're highlighting boys golf. With the conclusion of the regular season, Fenwick, and OPRF's golf squads competed in sectionals on Oct. 14, while the Friars made their way to state this past weekend. Here's what the varsity head coaches had to say about their team's performances and what it means moving forward.
After placing first as a team in both the sectional (301) and regional (306) rounds, Fenwick found itself at state on Oct. 18 and 19. Junior Jack Wiktor shot a 76 and seniors Jackson Schaeffer and Clark Davis each shot a 78. This is what head coach Jerry Kribs had to say the day after state:
On expectations going in: "It didn't go exactly as we planned since we wanted to finish higher than eighth, but we definitely don't take for granted going down to that state tournament. That is a great accomplishment for our team this year and to come in eighth when there are 135 teams out there. … It's something we should be proud of. We obviously enjoyed being there and the experience was valuable for our team. We just weren't able to carry the momentum we had from the regional and sectional. If we had carried that momentum, I really think it would have been a different result."
On how the younger golfers will learn from this: "Any time things don't work out quite the way you wanted them to on the golf course, you have to take what you can learn from the experience and make yourself better for it. I think that was a big part of our message, but we also told the kids that there is nothing to hang your heads about competing against the other best teams at state. Golf is a funny game. You can be on one day and off on another day and that's just how it goes. If we get back to this point next year, I think we are going to be able to take this experience and our younger guys will be better for it. Any time you come up short, there is a fire that lights underneath you to do better."
OPRF advanced out of the regional round, placing third as a team on Oct. 10. They followed that performance with a team score of 338, which didn't quite make the cut. Though the Huskies' season ended earlier than they would have liked, this young group has a bright future ahead of them. Here's what head coach Bill Young had to say about the team's postseason play.
On sophomore Nathan Bibbey: "The thing about our sectional is that it is probably the toughest sectional in the state of Illinois. We needed to get a really low score to get out of the sectional and with Nathan Bibbey, he was right there. He played well overall. He just had a couple of holes that didn't go his way. I think there's a lot of positives that he extracted from this and going into next season he is going to be in a better place mentally and physically to compete at a high level. He wanted a better score, but this is just validation that he's going to get better and better and that he is right there."
On optimism around the program: "It was one of those rounds where everyone was pressured to do well, and we had four or five sophomores on varsity this season with three of them being regular contributors. We have a lot of kids coming back and there's a lot of enthusiasm coming from our program. I feel like it's just going to take us getting into more tournaments against elite teams in the state of Illinois. With younger golfers, it is all about getting that experience and developing that mental aspect of the game and being comfortable on the golf course. That's why I'm glad Nate had this experience of playing in the sectional against the best teams. I think we have a lot to be excited about."
Answer Book 2019
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