District Drama: Freshman advances to State, team misses trip by one stroke

By: Zuhayr Alam

After a successful season, the men’s golf team was heartbreakingly close to making it to State on Tuesday Oct. 6. The top three teams make it to State at Districts, and the Tigers missed that mark by one stroke.

The Tigers shot an overall score of 311. The three teams ahead of the Tigers were Cedar Rapids Washington, Burlington and Cedar Rapids Xavier.

Head coach Dan Hensing said he is proud of the performance his team had at Districts.

“We had a really good performance,” he said. “311 is a very good score. It just wasn’t good enough on that particular day. We were four strokes away from finishing first at districts. That is how close the meet was.”

Senior captain Sean Fernholz said he felt anxious about Districts.

“I know that everyone wanted to shoot a couple of strokes better, especially me and the rest of the seniors, but we gave it our all,” Fernholz said. “Burlington had one score that was really good, and that propelled them to end up two strokes ahead of us and one stroke ahead of Xavier.”

However, the top four golfers at Districts will get a chance to golf at State regardless of how their team did, and freshman Joe Dean made the cut to go to State to compete individually, since he tied for fourth.

“I am in shock that I made state as a freshman, and it’s the greatest accomplishment that I have ever had,” Dean said. “It took a lot of hard work and teammates to keep me going and help me make it to State. The feeling is unreal. I’m just sad that my team won’t be by my side at the tournament.”

Despite the District drama, Fernholz said he has fond memories of his years as a golfer.

“Freshman year, I was really nervous. I just wanted to make the team and have an opportunity to play golf,” Fernholz said. “Little did I know I would be a part of a second family for four years. I really enjoyed playing a game I love with some of my best friends for the past four years. Being nominated a captain for the past three years has been a blessing and award I never thought I would get.”

Dean credits the upperclassmen with being leaders and motivating him throughout the season.

“They were great role models to look up to as golfers and people. They were very serious and mature when they needed to be, but I liked how they loved to hang loose and mess around at times,” Dean said. “They helped push me to become a better golfer  and to work on my game.”

Fernholz credits Hensing for keeping practices at an appropriate level of intensity.

“I also have to give Hensing huge credit for keeping everyone loose when they aren’t playing well. Without him telling jokes or making us forget about bad shots or rounds, I think it would just add so much more pressure to everyone,” Fernholz said. “I’m very happy and blessed to have been able to play varsity golf the past four years.”

Fernholz also wishes Dean the best of luck at State.

“It was really fun to get to know Joe and the other freshmen better, and the team was so close to each other that we could joke around during practice and meets to take the edge off a little bit,” Fernholz said. “Although I never made it to State, I have to give out a huge congratulations to Joe on making it to State, and I wish him the best of luck.”

State is at Elmcrest Country club in Cedar Rapids this weekend.

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