Golf team prepares for state finals

Raj Satpathy

In the past few years, the athletes that make up RBHS’s golf teams — both boys and girls — have been consistently winning their matches. They racked up victories at various tournaments and matches, each time displaying prodigious amounts of skill and effort.

However, state championships are approaching on May 12-14, and the boys must prove they can tie it all together and take home the trophy.

Both RBHS golf teams won first at state last year, but in just a few days, the boys golf team will have the chance to show that they can pull it off again.

The 16-player team has had an almost flawless record so far this season, beating out the competition in 12 out of 16 grueling matches.

In fact, the Bruins placed first at their second sectionals tounament just last week on May 2.

The boys have beaten almost everyone they’ve faced, ranging from Hickman and Moberly to Helias. Junior Todd Hague said there’s little chance of their streak ending anytime soon.

“We’re [almost] undefeated right now, and I’m pretty
confident in our chances of [winning state] again,” Hague said. “I think we’re pretty locked down.”

Coach Doug Daniels, who already successfully coached theboy’s golf team to a win at state last year, echoed Hague’s sentiment.

“I’m as confident in our chances as in any other team’s,” Daniels said. “We all start even. We all start at 0-0, [and] it’s all square. If we play well, we’ll be able to win.”

The state championships will involve RBHS going up against the best golf teams from around the state.

It won’t be a pushover either. Last year the boys were favored to win state, but this year it’s not going to be so easy.

“We’re kind of in a rebuilding year this year,” senior Austin Evans said. “We won’t be favorites like last year, but I think we’ll be able to compete.”

The team isn’t worried about their chances, though. The competition adds excitement to the attitudes of some players.

“Lots of teams are going to be watching us since the team won last year, but it’ll be fun to have the target on our backs,” freshman Matt Echelmeier said. “It’s fun to have that added pressure.”

As for the competition at state, Echelmeier doesn’t pick out one competitor but expects every team to be a challenge to beat.

“Any team that makes it to state deserves to make it there. They’re all good,” said Echelmeier. “But so are we.”

Of the teams that will be present at the state championship, Rockhurst seems to be the most threatening. In just the past month, they’ve squeezed out three wins against the Bruins.

“Rockhurst has finished ahead of us in the last few tournaments that they’ve seen us at,” Daniels said. “But it’s been by a very small margin, so it’s nothing too worrisome.”

Echelmeier and Daniel’s optimistic outlook extends to others on the team. Echelmeier’s older brother senior Will Echelmeier, who plays the no. one spot on the team, believes RBHS’s record this season is a good prediction of the tournament to come.

“We have been consistently at the top of the leader board,” Will Echelmeier said. “That should give us the confidence we need to win.”

Regardless of the outcome, all the golfers agree that the Bruins will be able to look forward to favorable performances by the golf team in the years to come.

“I believe in them,” Will Echelmeier said. “There are three underclassmen in our top five that can only get better.”

Daniels agreed with Will Echelmeier about the future of the golf team.

“Even more than the varsity guys, there’s a lot of up and coming youth,” Coach Daniels said. “I think the future looks bright for a couple of years.”
By Raj Satpathy