Boys Golf: Day 2 cancelled, Jack Junge, Ian Kelsey share medalIan Kelsey of Deerfield High School, left, receives congratulations from head coach Jeff Fishbein after Kelsey tied for the first place title in the individual scoring at the Illinois High School Association Boys 3A Golf Championship, Saturday, October 13, 2012, at The Den at Fox Creek in Bloomington, Illinois. Kelsey tied with Jack Junge of New Trier Township High School in Winnetka. (David Proeber~for Sun-Times Meida)
Updated: October 13, 2012 7:19PM
For the majority of the season, the consensus around the state was that the Class 3A St. Charles East Sectional at St. Andrews was the most difficult boys golf sectional around.
After the first day of the Class 3A state meet at the Den in Bloomington, that fact couldn’t have been clearer.
The top three teams from that sectional, Hinsdale Central, Naperville North and Lyons, found themselves in the exact same order after the first say at state. After rain wiped out Saturday’s second round, that’s how the final state standings will remain. Both at sectionals and Friday the three teams were separated by four strokes.
“It definitely was the best, we weren’t just saying it,” Naperville North coach Ryan Hantak said. “It’s awesome. It’s great for the western suburbs.”
For Hinsdale Central coach Jess Krueger, the state title was a long time coming. He has been in the program for 16 years, the past seven as head coach. His teams finished second in 2008 and third in 2007, but the Red Devils were finally able to bring home the program’s first state title since 1960 this weekend.
“It’s very exciting,” Krueger said. “It’s really special. A lot of great athletes through the years made this possible. They set up this program. We have had good quality kids, character kids, and it helped us build and get ready for today.”
The team’s lone senior, David Whinery, was his usual solid self with a 75. But the youngsters, sophomore Brian Dolehide (team-best 74) and freshman Kenneth Li (76) didn’t let the state stage get to them at all.
“They’re always an unknown, and they’ve risen to the challenge and were not intimidated,” Krueger said. “They played the way they usually play.”
Due to the cancellation of the second round, the two golfers who shot one under par Friday, Deerfield junior Ian Kelsey and New Trier sophomore Jack Junge, shared medalist honors.
“I wish we could have played the second 18, that would have been nice,” said Kelsey, who is the first Deerfield golfer to win an individual state title. “It means a lot. We’ve had people close to winning state. It’s nice to be a part of it.”
Junge was happy that he finished with four birdies in his final six holes Friday, not knowing if he would get the chance to play on Saturday due to the rain.
“Having only one day is a little bit different, but it’s an honor, and I’m really happy about it,” Junge said. “I just tried to stay positive the whole time (Friday). I knew there were a few holes down the stretch where I could make birdie, and I capitalized on my opportunity.”
Naperville North senior Raymond Knoll tied for third with Normal West junior Steven Mullins with a 73. That helped the Huskies to a second-place finish as a team, the program’s highest finish since winning the 1994 state title. Knoll had an eagle on No. 15 and birdied No. 18 to finish with a 33 on the back nine Friday.
“It was a rough way to end it,” Knoll said. “It’s bittersweet for sure. I wish I had a second opportunity to go out and win it.”