on June 06, 2016 12:20 AM
CUTLERVILLE – Making it to the state tournament is a goal of many high school golf teams at the beginning of the season. This spring, the South Christian Sailors gave it all they could but fell just a few strokes of making it to the finals as a team.
After placing third at the Division 3 district at the Hastings Country Club, the Sailors fell four strokes short of qualifying for state at the Division 3 regional at Lake Cora Hills in Paw Paw. South Christian totaled a 339 at the regional tournament, good for fifth place and four strokes behind Portland, the third-place team that nabbed the last ticket to the state meet.
While the Sailors will not be making the trip to the state finals as a team, they will be represented by their top golfer. Senior Carter Oeverman qualified for the state tournament as an individual, as he carded an 80 at the regional tournament.
“Carter’s been our number one for most of the year,” South Christian coach Mark VanStee said. “He works tremendously hard on his game and is primed to make a good run at state.”
Fellow-senior Adam Schumaker just missed joining Oeverman at state. Schumaker shot an 83 at the regional and missed the individual cut for state by one stroke.
“Adam wasn’t sure if he was going to play this year,” Van Stee said, “but he’s either been our number one or two all year. He has a pure swing and very consistent.”
Sophomore Jackson Northouse finished just one stroke behind Schumaker with an 84 at the regional meet.
“Jackson has really come on strong,” VanStee said. “He recently shot 38 in a match against Caledonia. He’s been a huge surprise. He’ll be our new number one for the next couple of years.”
Overall, the Sailors turned in a solid season.
“The team has had some ups and down with eligibility, but the kids have worked hard and we were pretty excited for our chance to play at state,” VanStee said.
“We played great at the Egypt Valley event. We beat a lot of schools that were much bigger than us, as well as other teams in our league. We did have a chance to win the conference this year, but due to some eligibilities, that was lost.”
It wasn’t for lack of effort that the Sailors came up short at the conference meet.
“This team works very hard,” VanStee said. “We have the distance, accuracy, and short game, but we are still working on our ability to score. I know that doesn’t make sense, but our games out there. We need to turn them into low scores.”
This year’s squad also had fun competing and giving it all they had.
“We really have a great time together,” VanStee said. “We enjoy the van rides, going out for breakfast before tournaments, and things like that.”