from today's Waukesha Freeman -
Catholic Memorial’s Dylan Allen celebrates his birdie putt on the 11th green at University Ridge Golf Course during the WIAA Division 2 state golf tournament Tuesday. Mary Langenfeld/Special to The Freeman
WIAA STATE BOYS GOLF TOURNAMENT
Sequel just as sweet as original
Crusaders win second straight D2 championship
MADISON – Hollywood has been churning out sequels a lot faster these days, and none seem to live up to the hype.
It can be tough to pick out a sequel better than the original.
That’s not the case for the the Catholic Memorial High School boys golf team’s latest sequel.
The Crusaders shot a 302 for a two-day score of 14over par 607 In Tuesday’s final round of the WIAA Division 2 state golf tournament. The Crusaders scored a seven-stroke victory over Edgewood at University Ridge Golf Course.
“It’s unbelievable, and the kids really worked hard,” CMH coach Steve Plechaty said. “They were just rock steady and didn’t leave any openings for Edgewood – and Edgewood shot really well.”
There was one familiar plot line in the past two championships for the Crusaders: CMH needed to come from behind to win it all. Last year’s villain, Edgerton, had a 12-stroke lead over CMH before the Crusaders finished with a 297 in the second round to win by 11 strokes.
This year brought the same villain, Edgewood, which only had a four-stroke lead heading into Tuesday. Like most sequels, the villain was much more difficult to defeat the second time around. CMH shot a 192 through the first nine, but Edgewood still had a twostroke lead. “I don’t know, I think it’s just the heat of the moment where we want to step up,” senior Dylan Allen said. “The game plan (Tuesday) was to beat the Edgewood guy by one shot, and I think most of us did that.”
Applying the pressure onto each Edgewood opponent was key. Senior Conor Farrell said he made it a point to tee off first and put it in the fairway to keep the Edgewood player he was paired with thinking about the pressure.
“I usually do that any round I play, but it’s definitely more fun when you can tee off when they are stepping off the green to put the pressure on them,” Farrell said. “He gets a little nervous. That was pretty much the game plan last year, too.”
The back nine scores were the difference. Allen led the team with two-day 134, which was one-over par, for third place individually. On his back nine Tuesday, Allen was even par with one birdie and one bogey. He shot par on entire front nine. Allen was paired with Edgewood’s Johnny Decker, who was four over on the back nine and eight over par for the round.
“I just really kept it simple all day and didn’t want to blow up,” Allen said. “It just feels nice knowing all the hard work you’ve done pays off. Being able to do it with the group of guys is better.”
Sophomore Michael Immekus at No. 2 and Farrell at No. 3 tied their paired Edgewood player on the back nine. Memorial’s No. 4, Tyler King, shot one-over par back on the back nine, while Edgewood’s Andrew Yontz was five over. CMH senior Joel Stanislawski was four-over par on the back nine, while his Edgewood opponent, Dillion Byrne, was eight over on the back nine.
When the team is down, Plechaty believes it helps all his players refocus and play harder than normal.
“You want to minimize the errors and know that every stroke counts,” Stanislawski said. “You have to know that you are never out of it.”
Plechaty said Edgewood didn’t give anything away easily. He said Edgewood’s 614 would probably win any other year. Plechaty held a meeting after Monday‘s first round and let the players know what the strengths and weaknesses were on that first day.
“A lot of it was tactical and learning from a few mistakes from that day before,” Plechaty said. “It just seems we always go lower on that second day, and part of that is playing smarter and some of it is being calmer.”
CMH could also be better in the second round because they are all very competitive. They are always playing games against each other. Even right before they received their championship trophy, which was presented on the practice green, they were playing games against each other with everyone looking on.
“This whole group is just so competitive,” Farrell said. “We just want to win.”
Added Stanislawski, “You should see our Flappy Golf tournaments. It’s an app on your phone, and we get heated. It gets bad on the way up here.”
Allen called the whole team “a bunch of goons.” But he and the rest of the seniors thought this year’s victory was much more rewarding that last year’s title.
“Walking up the last fairway and realizing it’s your last hole of a high school tournament and carrying that bag for this team, there’s not a feeling like it,” Allen said.
Including senior Danny Prager, Memorial’s alternate, Plechaty has to replace four seniors. He only needed to replace two from last year’s state team. However, he still thinks the program is strong enough for a third installment in a trilogy.
“We have a lot of kids in the program, like 31 kids, and I bet half of them were here (Tuesday) supporting the varsity players,” Plechaty said. “The fact they are up here and see what it’s all about, at one time these seniors were freshmen and sophomores, and they got a taste of it. The hope is they go back today and practice on their games.
“We try to teach our program what it’s about with the older kids teaching the younger kids. There are no predictions, but the one prediction is we will try and see if we can get back here again.”