By Lenny Sementi
Head golf coach Doug Bauer looked to senior leadership to bring along his younger players and the results showed late in the season. Bauer’s girl’s team boasting one senior and three freshmen advanced to the Jacksonville Sectional with a third place finish at the Bethany Okaw Valley Regional. And his boys team doubled their dual meet win total from a year ago and lowered the scores week in a week throughout the ‘2019’ season and like the girls team had just one senior.
Lainey Banta was the most decorated golfer in the program this past fall leading the way for the girls nine times with a low round of forty-five. She shot her best two eighteen-hole rounds of her career at the Central Illinois Conference meet and the regional. Banta not only earned all conference accolades but also won the whole shooting match and would have landed in the top five of the advancing individuals at the regional. All this added up to the squads MVP and Spirit awards at the season ending banquet.
Ella Boyer, Marley Good and Makenna Fiscus all three lettered as first year golfers supporting Banta. Good and Fiscus dueled throughout the second half of the fall for the squads two hole. Fiscus came out firing early shooting one of her lowest rounds of the year to secure medalist honors in the first meet of the year. Her low round of the year was a forty-seven late in September and came up big in the post season.
Good saved her best for the CIC meet turning in her lowest eighteen-hole scorecard of her short career collecting All CIC hardware and was also awarded the team’s most improved player award. Boyer was the third first year golfer to tee it up for coach Bauer. Boyer came thru with a medalist honor early in the season and provided the final score at the regional that helped the Warriors advance to the second round of the post season.
“The girls went up against teams with at least six players all season long and never waned despite not having an alternate scorecard,” commented the coach. “It was quite and accomplishment advancing to the sectional. It will be tough to lose Lainey but the three freshman have all kinds of talent, we just need to get a few more girls involved, if that happens 2020 looks very promising.”
Senior Brody Good was medalist on opening day and also at the CIC meet turning a low round of forty-four. Sophomore Jayden Gaines was the most consistent scorer for the boys. Gaines collected both the teams MVP and most improved player award from start to finish. He was the Warriors medalist five times and also posted the lowest scoring average.
Landon Banta was next up playing as the number one four times and also carded the programs lowest score of the year penciling in a forty-three early in the year. Both he and Tyler Bialeschki were just a stroke behind Gaines in scoring average when the dust settled. Bialeschki was the number one twice for Bauer and shot a forty-six at Iron Horse in the last duel meet of the season.
Cory Dunn scored more than a few times for the Warriors, including serving as the number four at the CIC meet. He and Brayden Boyer served as alternates a big part of the year. Boyer shot a sixty-one to open up the ‘19’ season and ended it on October 3, eight strokes better carding a fifty-three. His lowest nine round of the year was on the front nine at league meet.
“Our boys had a bit of a tough year but were able to win a lot more dual meets this year than we did last,” stated Bauer. “They defiantly took steps in the right direction as the season moved along. Jayden really came on this fall and dramatically improved as the year progressed. I think we should be very competitive next year.”