Boys golf falls short of state title, earns fifth

Kaitlyn Marsh

Reviewing the green, freshman Austin Evens prepares to putt. By Makayla Baker
Returning to the same tournament 12 months after being crowned state champs in 2011, the RB boys golf team arrived in Silo Ridge Golf Course in Bolivar, Mo. Tuesday, May 14 with one goal: to take another state title.
However, after the first day in a two day tourney, doubts began to cloud player’s ambitions for a possible victory.
When day one came to an end, the team was in fourth place behind Rockhurst, Poplar Bluff and Blue Springs South, trailing behind the leader by 19 strokes. Unfortunately, the first day was a struggle for all five players, sophomore Jackson Dubinski said.
Being in fourth after the first day was “frustrating, but we knew we could only focus on bettering ourselves for day two,” Dubinski said.
The golfers did return the second day more focused, determined and playing better than the day before, but it wasn’t enough to beat out their opponents; they landed a respectable fifth place finish. The Bruins showed a little inconsistency, with RB’s No. 1 senior Will Echelmeier leading the team on Monday with a 3 over par 75 but then falling to the rear of the pack with an 81 on Tuesday.
“It was a little disappointing,” Coach Doug Daniels said. “I thought if we played well today, we could have climbed into second. I still think we could have … Will had a bad day, for him especially, a really poor day and the other guys threw away shots here and there and that’s what happens.”
However, the golfers have nothing to be ashamed of. Only eight strokes separated RB from second place compared to the greater margin after yesterday’s 18 holes. Even though the team feels like it could have performed better, they have found their diamond in the rough. Freshman Jack Knoesel led the Bruins today with a 75 for their final team score of 632, behind Rockhurst at 600.
“I just thought that I ought to give it my all to help the guys who got me there,” Knoesel said. “I thought we almost achieved that but we came up a little short.”
Losing two varsity seniors this year will be tough, but the Bruins are prepared to grow and return next spring to prove themselves as previous state champs. Even though not one varsity player finished in the top 15 All-State this year, the trip was more than just 36 holes to these players.
“The thing is, we know we can compete and that we’ll be back there soon,” Dubinksi said. “It will help us for the following years, both individually and as a team.”
By Kaitlyn Marsh