ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Led by a championship performance by freshman Elliott Soyez, the Hillsboro golf team earned a berth in the state tournament May 22 by placing second in regional competition on Monday at Salina.
Soyez won the title with an 18-hole score of 75-a three-stroke margin over Justin Williams of St. John’s Military.
Joining Soyez were Andrew Bina, who placed sixth with an 80, Justin Kent, who was ninth with an 82 and Darren Enns, who shot a 101. Their combined score of 338 edged Marion out of a team berth by three strokes.
Hesston won the team title with a score of 324.
Because the five highest individual finishers who are not members of a qualifying team earn an individual berth, Marion’s Travis Hett and Jake Bredemeir will advance. The two Warriors shot an 81 to place seven and eighth overall, but were third and fourth among the eligible individual players.
Rounding out Marion’s score were Luke Gordon with an 89, Chase Carlson with a 90 and Keith Jones with a 98.
Sacred Heart-Marion and Hillsboro swept the honors at the Sacred Heart Invitational May 9. The event had been rescheduled from a rainout April 28. Golfers from seven schools competed.
Marion was the big winner, taking first in both the two-man and four-man competitions. Travis Hett shot a 77 and Keith Jones an 80 for a top score of 157 to take the two-man title. Adding their scores to the winning four-man team were Luke Gordon (76) and Jake Bredemeier (85).
Chase Carlson shot a 91 and Paul Hodson a 104 for MHS.
Gordon and Hett finished 1-2 in the competition for individual medals and Jones was fifth.
Hillsboro’s Eric Soyez (78) and Andrew Bina (79) combined to tie for the best score at 157, but received second in a scorecard playoff.
Contributing to Hillsboro’s runner-up score of 318 in the four-man race were Justin Kent (80) and Darren Enns (91).
Zach Magnuson shot a 97.
Soyez and Bina placed third and fourth among individuals and Kent sixth.
MCAA tourney-Marion placed third and Hillsboro fourth in the team competition at the Mid-Central Activities Association league tournament May 8 at Ellinwood.
Golfers from 10 schools participated in the event, but only eight schools fielded a complete team.
Wichita Collegiate won the title with a score of 284. Hesston was second at 298, followed by Marion at 303, Hillsboro 318, Nickerson 326, Hoisington 326, Halstead 328 and Ellinwood 351.
In the battle for individual medals, Travis Hett of Marion matched Collegiate’s Craig Howell for the top score of 65 for the par-64 short course, but finished second in a scorecard playoff. Hillsboro freshman Elliot Soyez placed fourth with a 70.
Rounding out the Warrior effort were Keith Jones, who placed eighth overall at 74, Jake Bredemeier 77 (17th), Luke Gordon 83 (28th) and Chase Carlson 94 (45th).
For the Trojans, Justin Kent placed 12th with a 75 while Andrew Bina shot a 78 (19th) and Darren Enns 95 (47th).
“We knew it’d be tough with Collegiate and Hesston,” Trojan coach Scott O’Hare said. “We thought we’d be able to push for a third-place finish behind them, but Marion has five guys to get four scores out of pretty consistently, and someone’s been pulling through for them and helping out.
“They’ve edged us out at about the last five tournaments. But we’re right there in the mix if we can put everybody together.”