In the last week, Centerville’s boys golf team edged Union County and Northeastern by one stroke on back-to-back days to win dual Tri-Eastern Conference matches.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs and Patriots tied for fifth place at Richmond’s Bo Van Pelt/Justin Cross Invitational at Forest Hills Country Club with Northeastern five strokes behind.
But it was Hagerstown that had the highest team finish from around the area, which means the season is still young, and anything can happen when sectional time comes around.
East Central conquered the tough course and took home the team title with a 328, but Muncie Central’s Keegan Bronnenberg stole the spotlight, taking home medal honors with his 5-under 67 on the par-72 course.
Richmond coach Ron Murphy said it was one of the lowest scores he remembers seeing in the notoriously tough course that saw his Red Devils finish eighth as a team.
“That’s right up there and he had a 68 last week. So solid, very solid,” Murphy said of Bronnenberg. “… He’s only a junior, and he’s a good, solid player and that’s awesome, so that’s a really good score.”
Franklin County was second as a team with a 342, Muncie Central (346) was third, Hagerstown (358) fourth, Union County and Centerville tied for fifth with 365s, Northeastern (370) was seventh, Richmond (379) eighth, Rushville (412) ninth, Lawrenceburg (460) 10th and Lincoln (475) 11th, while Seton Catholic had just three individual golfers competing in Michael Haber (93), Matt Moore (106) and Noah Becker (140).
“Our freshman class, we have a bunch of competitors in our freshman class,” said Hagerstown first-year coach Billy Mullin. “I mean they still got to get better and refine their games and learn more about how to play competitive golf, but they’re competitors and you can’t teach somebody how to be a competitor. Either they got it or they don’t. Future bodes well for them, as long as they continue to get smarter about the game.”
East Central’s Chad Spencer followed Bronnenberg with a 70 and Centerville’s Mason Rader had the lowest area round with a 77.
Lincoln’s Eric Underwood carded an 80, Hagerstown’s Ben Tinkle and Richmond’s Evan Williams shot 82s and Red Devil Jarrett Focht shot an 83.
Following Richmond’s top two, a lineup of young golfers followed with Max Kuhnt (108), Josh Bumbalough (106) and Greg Lyons 120.
“This whole year is about getting better,” Murphy said. “We’re 10 shots out of getting out of the sectional right now. That can be done. I’m pleased, because the kids, you’ve got to play every day, so it’s early, but we’re 10 shots from making it out of the sectional.”
Underwood was one stroke off the 79 he shot last year during the sectional, also held at Forest Hills, as Lincoln coach Phil Renforth said the Golden Eagles were competing with an incomplete lineup.
“… (H)e said he bogeyed his last four holes today, which, the way he played on the front, he shot a 38 on the front, which was pretty good on the front,” Renforth said of Underwood. “I think he knows he can go a little bit lower here. He got out of the sectional here last year with a 79, I believe, so he can shoot mid 70s here and play well, and I think he’s going to be near the top of the leaderboard in most of the matches that we play. He’s just a solid kid.”
Cody Frame and Jake Antrim of Union County and Garrett Schuler of Northeastern shot 84s, Jonathan Clark of Hagerstown and Bryce Cowen of Northeastern shot 90s and Kevin Beeson shot 94 for the Tigers in what Mullin said was his first varsity tournament.
“Very proud of Kevin Beeson,” Mullin said. “First time he’s seen the course, first varsity match, and to come out here today, he found out Thursday night he was playing today, and so to shoot a (94), I’m very happy with him.”
In the past, Richmond opened the boys golf season with the Bo Van Pelt Invitational one week and the Justin Cross Invitational the next. This year, the two were combined into one event after the Red Devils opened at last weekend’s Yorktown Invite with a last-place finish.
“We shot a little bit better, so that’s good,” Murphy said.
JUSTIN CROSS/BO VAN PELT INVITATIONAL
At Forest Hills
Team Results– 1. East Central 328; 2. Franklin County 342; 3. Muncie Central 346; 4. Hagerstown 358; T-5. Union County 365; T-5. Centerville (365); 7. Northeastern 370; 8. Richmond 379; 9. Rushville 412; 10. Lawrenceburg 460; 11. Lincoln 475; Seton Catholic (Incomplete).
Richmond (379)– Evan Williams 82, Jarrett Focht 83, Max Kuhnt 108, Josh Bumbalough 106, Greg Lyons 120.
Centerville (365)– Mason Rader 77, Noah Reisner 93, Keaton Williams 93, Skyler Benedict 102, Aydan Koyles 111.
East Central (328)– Chad Spencer 70, Jarrett Maurer 84, Jake Sheen 87, Curtis Miller 87, Sam Feilhaner 99.
Franklin County (342)– Wyatt Rowlett 81, Austin Seale 85, Brandon Bauman 87, Tyler Calihan 89, Luke Hall 92.
Hagerstown (358)– Ben Tinkle 82, Jonathan Clark 90, Caleb Cochran 92, Kyle Cochran 97, Kevin Beeson 94.
Lawrenceburg (460)– Jeremy Collins 103, Taylor Gregory 122, Evan Pennington 114, Noah Frank 125, Darrin Ricketts 130.
Lincoln (475)– Eric Underwood 80, A. J. Ogle 104, Dustin Catron 125, Chris Gravener 166.
Muncie Central (346)– Keegan Bronnenberg 67, Boyd McCoy 85, Jasper Jameson 96, Brock McCoy 98, Brody McCoy 102.
Northeastern (370)– Garrett Schuler 84, Bryce Cowen 90, Cole Morrison 97, Austin Clay 108, Kohl Hoskins 99.
Rushville (412)– Cole Carmony 88, Christian Gosser 109, Tyce Nicholls 116, Tanner Koors 100, Trenton Harbert 135.
Seton Catholic (Incomplete)– Michael Haber 93, Matt Moore 106, Noah Becker 140.
Union County (365)– Cody Frame 84, Jake Antrim 84, Spencer Swafford 99, Dillon Miller 98, Owen Miller 105.