Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Against all odds, Catholic Memorial captures state title

from today's JSOnline.Com -
By Rob Reischel, Special to the Journal Sentinel

Verona — Ever the optimist, Steve Plechaty insisted there was a chance.

Deep down, though, Catholic Memorial's boys golf coach knew the Crusaders' pursuit of Edgerton on Tuesday had similar odds to Jim Carrey's quest of Lauren Holly in "Dumb and Dumber."
So you're telling me there's a chance.

"Anytime you have to make up 12 shots, your odds aren't great," Plechaty said of his team's deficit.
Maybe Carrey got the girl after all. The Crusaders certainly got the gold.

In a remarkable comeback, Catholic Memorial tied its own state record with a 297 on the final day of the WIAA Division 2 state tournament at University Ridge. And that finish helped the Crusaders pick up 23 shots on defending state champion Edgerton and claim the crown, 616-627.

"I knew we could do it," Catholic Memorial No. 1 player Dylan Allen said. "I knew it would be hard, but I thought it was doable."

The Crusaders got standout performances up and down the lineup during their round.

Allen shot even-par 72, highlighted by an eagle at No. 16. Senior Matt Petre fired a 73 and junior Joel Stanislawski carded a 75. All three scores were season lows.

Senior Eric Heyrman shot a 77. And No. 5 man Conor Farrell chipped in a 78. Amazingly, though, Catholic Memorial tossed Farrell's score.

"We've been waiting for a round like this all year long," Petre said. "We haven't had four guys in the 70s, so this was great timing."

Catholic Memorial's low round of the year was 312. But Plechaty thought if his team could post a score from 305-310, they'd have a chance. Never, though, did Plechaty think the Crusaders would notch a 297.

"I thought if we could put a little pressure on them, we could make it interesting," Plechaty said.
The Crusaders did more than that.

Catholic Memorial fired a sizzling 3-over 147 on the front nine. But Edgerton shot a solid 153, and the Crimson Tide maintained a six-shot lead at the turn.

On the back nine, though, the Crusaders kept rolling and fired a 150 team score. Edgerton slipped to a 167, though, allowing Catholic Memorial to pick up 17 strokes and cruise home.

"This was our goal all year," Allen said. "There couldn't be a better place for it to happen."
Allen and Petre were at the heart of the Crusaders' surge.

Allen birdied two of his first four holes and later drained a 15-foot eagle putt on No. 16.

Petre had three birdie putts of at least 25 feet. He also chipped in from off the green at No. 11 with PGA star and former Edgerton great Steve Stricker watching.

"That was pretty cool," Petre said.

Catholic Memorial has now won three state titles since 2005, and in each one it rallied on the final day. But this was the Crusaders' biggest comeback and perhaps most thrilling moment.

"It was quite a comeback," Plechaty said. "And that makes it all the sweeter."

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