Call it a senior moment, if you will.
On Wednesday, Sept. 29, the four senior members of the Hillsboro High School boys golf team all punched their tickets to the next round of the postseason at the IHSA boys golf regional at Spencer T. Olin Golf Course in Alton.
The road was anything but easy for the four-year foursome. Only three teams made it out of the regional, with the other sectional qualifiers determined by who finished in the top 10 among the non-qualifying teams.
Dillon Smail and Preston Lyerla had it a little easier than their classmates, Drake Vogel and Dom Haggard, as they shot 87 and 89 to secure their spots. Smail shot a 41 on the front nine and a 46 on the back half of the course, while Lyerla had rounds of 45 and 44 on Wednesday.
Vogel and Haggard had to do things the hard way, battling through a playoff to earn their spot. Both shot 90, with Haggard going 47 and 43, while Vogel went 40 and 50.
Both also showed up when they needed to in the extra frame as five golfers battled for three spots.
Joining the two Toppers in qualifying was Lincolnwood’s Will Jenkins, with Ian Otto and Brawly Jacobs of Litchfield just missing a sectional spot in the all-Montgomery County playoff.
In addition to the four sectional qualifiers, Hillsboro’s Tycen Thacker and Austin Loskot also got their first glimpse of regional golf. Thacker was just five strokes off a sectional spot, shooting a 95 with rounds of 50 and 45, while Loskot shot a 103, with a 53 on the front nine and a 50 on the back. Those scores were 32nd and 51st best overall for the 74-player tournament.
As a team, Hillsboro finished in fifth overall with a 356, smack dab in the middle of the other two Montgomery County teams as Lincolnwood shot a 369 to place sixth and Litchfield shot a 350 to place fourth.
The three advancing teams were Vandalia with a 320, Alton Marquette with a 337 and Father McGivney with a 345. Vandalia’s Chase Laack shot an even-par 72 to win medalist honors over teammate Dylan Halford and Marquette’s Aidan O’Keefe, who both went 4-over with a pair of 76s.
Hillsboro’s seniors will now move on to the McLeansboro Sectional at Green Hills Golf Course in Mt. Vernon on Monday, Oct. 4, with the other individual qualifiers and the three advancing teams.
Sept. 29 at Alton Marquette Regional
Spencer T. Olin G.C. - Par 72
Boys Team Results: 1. Vandalia 320*; 2. Alton Marquette 337*; 3. Father McGivney 345*; 4. Litchfield 350; 5. Hillsboro 356; 6. Lincolnwood 369; 7. Carlinville 374; 8. Metro-East Lutheran 387; 9. Ramsey 390; 10. Gillespie 397; 11. Staunton 403; 12. Mount Olive 470. *Sectional Qualifiers
Overall Individual Top 10: 1. Chase Laack (Vandalia) 72; 2. Dylan Halford (Vandalia) 76; 2. Aidan O’Keefe (Marquette) 76; 4. Antonio Ybarra (Metro-East Lutheran) 77; 5. Henry Kufa (Carlinville) 78; 5. Tug Schwab (Litchfield) 78; 7. Joey Hyten (Father McGivney) 80; 8. William Schwartz (Marquette) 82; 9. Nate Brockmeyer (Lincolnwood) 85; 9. Jacob Schaal (Vandalia) 85; 9. Riley Knobloch (Father McGivney) 85.
Individual Sectional Qualifiers: 4. Antonio Ybarra (Metro-East Lutheran) 77; 5. Henry Kufa (Carlinville) 78; 5. Tug Schwab (Litchfield) 78; 9. Nate Brockmeyer (Lincolnwood) 85; 12. Dillon Smail (Hillsboro) 87; 14. Broc Best (Staunton) 88; 16. Preston Lyerla (Hillsboro) 89; 18. Drake Vogel (Hillsboro) 90*; 18. Dominic Haggard (Hillsboro) 90*; 18. Will Jenkins (Lincolnwood) 90*. *Advanced in 5-player playoff with Ian Otto (Litchfield) and Brawly Jacobs (Litchfield).
Litchfield (350) - Tug Schwab 78; Ian Otto 90; Brawly Jacobs 90; AJ Odle 92; Zach Boston 93; Keagan Marten 111.
Hillsboro (356) - Dillon Smail 87; Preston Lyerla 89; Drake Vogel 90; Dominic Haggard 90; Tycen Thacker 95; Austin Loskot 103.
Lincolnwood (369) - Nate Brockmeyer 85; Will Jenkins 90; Levi Weir 96; Brady Schmedeke 98; Colton Tischkau 99; Lance Weitekamp 100.