Center Grove feels confident heading into next week’s state finals.
Who could blame them? The Trojans showed why they’re a contender to hoist the state championship trophy next Wednesday. Ranked eighth in the final Indiana High School Golf Coaches Association poll, Center Grove took care of business with a team score of 292 Thursday in the Providence Regional at Champions Pointe.
It’s the seventh regional title in the last eight years for coach Matt Rodman’s squad.
Freshman Nathan Springer was one of two Trojans in red numbers as he carded a 1-under-par 71 to tie for second overall individually. He shared those honors with senior teammate Brady Schier, who also finished at 71.
“It felt really good. It’s awesome coming back from sectional and shooting 73 and going here shooting 71,” Springer said. “I always try to stay consistent around par and lowering my comfort zone.”
Center Grove finished eight shots better than runner-up Floyd Central. No. 16 Columbus North claimed the third and final qualifying spot with a 303, which was one stroke better than No. 7 Silver Creek.
After missing out on a state berth a year ago with a fourth-place finish, the Trojans clinched a return trip to Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.
“It’s a pretty sweet feeling. The kids played really well today,” Rodman said. “I’m the most proud of how we closed. I think we were actually two strokes down at the turn, and maybe more after 10 and 11, but our last five or six holes we really buckled down and finished strong and played really, really well.”
With as much depth as the team has year in and year out, Schier noted that this will be the first time any of the five players in the Trojans’ current lineup will be playing in the state finals.
“It is going to be a good experience for us,” Schier said. “We’re all going to go out there and have a really good time.”
Rounding out the Center Grove scoring were Brody Holubar with a 72 and Noah Parsetich and James Beetz with matching rounds of 78.
One thing that really impressed Rodman about his players is that none of the five golfers carded worse than a bogey on any of the holes played Thursday.
“We had not a single double-bogey or worse on the card all the way around the golf course, a tough golf course, and I think that was the difference maker today,” he said.
Franklin, meanwhile, saw its season come to an end. The Grizzly Cubs tied with Roncalli for sixth place with a 322 but won the tiebreaker via the fifth golfer’s score.
Luke Bechert led the Grizzly Cubs with a 78. Kadin Gibson and Jake Lock each carded an 80, Reid Davidson has an 84 and Kyle Diebold finished with an 88.
Greenwood Christian’s Ian Reed and Noah Reed did not qualify for state as individuals after posting scores of 76 and 82, respectively.
Blaine Beckhort of Providence was the regional individual champion with a 2-under par 70 and Borden’s A.J. Agnew claimed the second and final individual qualifying spot with an even-par 72.
For Roncalli, Bayley Schoettle finished with a 77, Jaxon Calhoon had a 79, Nicholas Stewart carded an 82 and Oliver Wellman rounded out the team scoring with an 84.