GREENSBURG – With no seniors populating either of their rosters, Batesville and Oldenburg Academy were mainly looking for some valuable tournament experience at the IHSAA boys golf sectional hosted by Greensburg Country Club May 31.
But OA coach Tim Maple and sophomore ace Drew Wagner received very welcome news when the final scores were etched onto the leaderboard.
Although Columbus North ran away with yet another team title after shooting 294 – followed by Columbus East's 319 and host Greensburg's 324 – Wagner's round of 78 placed him ahead of South Dearborn's Drew Miller and Milan's Josh Clark (both 79) for honors among those individuals moving on to regional.
"I can't predict it because there are some quality golfers still out there, but 78 is looking pretty good," Maple said, prior to the top teams finishing their rounds.
Thanks to a solid sectional debut by Wagner's younger brother Brett (84), the Twisters finished a respectable 7th with a total of 367.
For Batesville, led by No. 1 Dean Campbell's 90, the 379 was not far off from what coach Tom Meyer expected.
"We've been right at 400 all year, so these scores today have been really, really good," he said of his squad's 9th-place finish. "I think everyone played pretty well, which is a good plus ending the season like that."
North's Henry Kiel shot an exceptional one-under par (69) to earn sectional MVP and teammate Drew Smith was two shots back at 71 (one-over). East's Mark Mayhew was third at 74.
The elder Wagner parred 10 of the course's 18 holes and birdied the par-4 sixth. Brett was even on seven separate holes and added a bird on par-4 No. 1.
"They're really good and love playing golf," said their coach, looking forward to five more seasons between the duo.
Jack Abplanalp was next for BHS, coming in at 94. Campbell earned par on five holes and birdied the par-3 fifth. Ablanalp came up with a pair of pars.
"As a whole, the scores were kind of what everyone's been shooting," said Meyer, "so I don't think there were any big surprises."
Despite a rain shower early in the morning, things ran pretty smoothly for the young golfers as they were met with bright midday skies.
"They got to play lift, clean and place, and were able to play a few of the holes a little shorter, so those things helped out a lot," explained Meyer.
Batesville's No. 5 Carson Fulton turned in his team's third-best effort, finishing at 97 with two pars. Joseph Cerniglia posted the final totals to the team score with a 98 (3 pars). Kyle Williamson rounded the course in 109.
Henry Meyer, OA's No. 3, had a 19-stroke improvement over his 2018 sectional score (118 to 99); he parred two holes. Jack Seaver, the Twisters' fourth and final entry, scored 106. Seaver parred the 17th and birdied the par-5 15th.
South Dearborn was one shot back of Greensburg at 325. Milan was next at 345 and East Central had 358, led by Kyle Leising's 86. Hauser, who played alongside OA and Batesville, was sandwiched between the two at 369. North Decatur rounded out the top 10 at 383.
The top three team finishers will advance to the regional this Thursday at Champions Pointe Golf Club, Henryville, joined by Wagner, Miller and Clark.
With the season winding down, both Maple and Meyer are excited for what the future brings for their respective programs.
"We were very young this year and nobody had a lot of varsity experience," said the Bulldog mentor. "We do have some things to work on, but all the kids are coming back. That's encouraging."
"Hopefully, we add some more good golfers next year and we can come here to contend in the team standings," Maple added.
Will Fehlinger can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 112.