With COVID-19, a season in doubt, then a season extended, it’s been a long, strange trip for the Lincolnwood-Morrisonville boys golf team, with an emphasis on long, at least of the last leg of the 2020 season.
But on Monday, Oct. 12, the worry, the precautions and the 192-mile trek to Fyre Lake National Golf Club proved to be worth it as the Lancers finished their season with one last hurrah, a fourth place finish at the Sherrard Sectional.
The Lancers were the farthest from home by a mile, or 11 of them to be precise, as Macoupin County neighbor North Mac also had a haul at 181 miles. The closest team was the one that called Fyre Lake its home course, Sherrard, who won the sectional with a 333.
Still, Lincolnwood didn’t let the distance or the windy conditions get to them as they churned out the consistent, solid golf that got them to this point. As has been the case for much of the season, the three seniors led the way, with Devin Brown taking the top honor this time around.
Starting on the back nine, Brown got off to a rough start, going double bogey-bogey on the first two holes, but picked up a par on number 12. By the end of the first nine, he’d be at plus-ten, but parred the 16th and 18th holes for some momentum going into the front nine.
After a bogey on one, Brown knocked in a five on the 464-yard par-5 second hole and birdied the par-4 third hole to get back to ten-over. He would end the round with four bogeys and two doubles to finish with an 18-over-par 88, good enough to tie for 16th overall with Sherrard’s Austin Fratzke and Williamsville’s Will Seman.
Michael Jones would be four strokes behind Brown in a tie for 29th spot with three other golfers, Illini West’s Lincoln Gooding, Brimfield’s Dalton Wills and Williamsville’s Ryan Farris.
Jones would shoot a 47 on the back nine, book ending his round with a pair of pars, with one on the par-4 14th hole for good measure. He’d add in three more pars on the front nine, finishing with a 45 for a 92 overall.
The third member of the senior triumvirate, Braxton Schmedeke, would tie sophomore teammate Nate Brockmeyer, Hamilton’s Dane Pfeiferling, Alleman’s Andre Marriott and Brimfield’s Bradyn Robertson for 33rd in the tightly contested race for position, just one stroke back of Jones with a 93.
Schmedeke would be strong early with four pars and a birdie on the par-4 15th hole on the back nine for a 43, then finished with a 50 on the front nine, parring the par-4 ninth hole. Brockmeyer was steady on both halves of the course, shooting 12-over on the back nine and 11-over on the front nine with three pars on each side.
Will Jenkins would be three strokes behind the Schmedeke/Brockmeyer combo in the fifth slot, shooting a 96. Jenkins had a 49 on the back nine, with a par on the 13th hole, and a 47 on the back nine, with pars on the first, second and eighth holes.
Junior Levi Weir, who would normally be on the soccer field at this time, was pushed into action as the Lancers’ sixth man and performed admirably. Weir shot 52 on both the back nine and front nine for a 104 on the day as he popped into 66th place for the tournament.
While COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the state tournament, the Lancers would be good to remember that the true reward of the 2020 season wasn’t in what they accomplished, but the journey that they took to get there. The team overcame obstacles. They played to the best of their abilities. They grew and got better. In short, regardless of what the scoreboard said at the end of Monday’s round, they won.
October 12 at Sherrard
Class 1A Regional
Fyre Lake National - Par 70
Boys Team Results: 1. Sherrard 333; 2. Rock Island Alleman 359; 2. Brimfield 359; 4. Lincolnwood 366; 4. Illini West 366; 6. North Mac 371; 6. Williamsville 371; 8. Illini Bluffs 382; 9. Hamilton 384; 9. Peoria Christian 384.
Medalist: Jeremy Ott (Brimfield) 75; Dain Richie (South County) 75.*Ott wins on 2nd Playoff Hole
Lincolnwood (366) - 16. Devin Brown 88; 29. Michael Jones 92; 33. Braxton Schmedeke 93; 33. Nate Brockmeyer 93; 46. Will Jenkins 96; 66. Levi Weir 104.