Chesterton Tribune

These guys are good: CHS wins first golf sectional since 1999 with record 277

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By JIMMY KISSEE

VALPARAISO - Chesterton golf coach Chuck Craycraft summed up his teams performance Friday afternoon at the Valparaiso Sectional held at Forest Park with one word - incredible.

With each golfer putting forth their finest effort in the same match for the first time all season, the talent-rich Trojan senior foursome of Steve St. Germain, Sam Chumbley, Alex Cook and Eric Beckley shot a remarkable three-under par 277 - 10 strokes below the sectional record - to cruise past conference nemesis Michigan City and the host Vikings for its first sectional crown since 1999.

The men in maroon and gold, who shattered Valparaiso’s total of 287 posted in 1994, had lost to Valparaiso by a combined three strokes the past two seasons in sectional play with each being determined by questionable rulings.

On Friday, there was no doubt who was the top team as the Wolves came in at 282 and the previously unbeaten Vikings managed a 292. All three teams advance to Friday’s LaPorte Regional, which will be played at Beechwood.

“Everybody had each others backs today,” said an elated Craycraft after the match.

“We all came together on this one and we all decided we’ve had enough. It’s been tough the past two seasons here at the sectional, but we put our foot forward today and took things one stroke at a time. I knew these kids had the ability, but to come in three strokes under par as a team is flat out incredible.”

St. Germain, a senior, who was participating in sectional play for the first time since his freshman season, led the way for Chesterton, firing an exceptional three-under par 67, which was good for medalist honors from his No. 5 position.

St. Germain, who played bogey free golf until hole No. 16, simplified his round by saying, “I stuck my shots and made some putts and the solid start really helped my confidence. The most important thing, however, about today is we all played well as a team for the first time all season. This is great. We’re all seniors and we really wanted this. I didn’t come here expecting to get medalist honors, but I’ll surely take it.”

Craycraft couldn’t have been more pleased with the round turned in by St. Germain.

“His attitude was really positive and nothing seemed to faze him today,” Craycraft said. “I knew he had the ability and he picked a perfect day to showcase it.”

After St. Germain it was Sam Chumbley with a 69, Alex Cook at 70 and Eric Beckley at 71.

Chumbley, who did his best Tiger Woods impersonation from this years Master’s, chipping in from the fringe of the 18th green as the ball hung on the hole for a second before dropping, added it was a great feeling after falling just short the past two seasons.

“We finally, finally did it,” Chumbley sighed.

“We thought between a 280 and 285 would win this, but to come in at 277 is just nuts. We left here pretty upset the past couple of seasons so we’re going to savor this one. For the first time I think I was happy on the golf course.”

Chumbley went on to credit St. Germain on his stellar round.

“I’m so happy to see him play that way,” he said. “I knew he was capable of that, but to see him through today was great. He was long overdue.”

Cook rebounded from a sluggish start to the back nine, birdying two of three final holes to save his round, and Beckley remained consistent, posting a back-nine 36 to go with his even par 35 on the front nine.

Michigan City put three golfers in the sixties (Anthony Novak 69, Christian Nagle 69, Nate Jones 69), but it wasn’t enough as Kyle Nieman carded a 75 to ruin any chance Michigan City had for victory.

Kyle Prow led Valparaiso with a 69, but the rest of the Vikings struggled a bit.

Sean Gallas of Michigan City Marquette (73), Colin Serocinski of Kankakee Valley (75) and Mitch Swan of Rennselaer (75) advanced individually to the LaPorte Regional, which will begin play at 9 a.m. on Friday.

Boys Golf

Valparaiso Sectional

At Forest Park, Par 70

(Top 3 teams and individuals not on advancing teams advance to Friday’s LaPorte Regional at Beechwood)

TEAM SCORES - 1. CHESTERTON 277 (SECTIONAL RECORD); 2. Michigan City 282; 3. Valparaiso 292; 4. Portage 321; 5. Michigan City Marquette 326; 6. Rennsselaer 328; 7. Kankakee Valley 329; 8. South Central 371; 9. Knox 372; 10. Westville 376; 11. Wheeler 380; 12. Oregon-Davis 396; 13. North Judson 400; 14. (tie) Kouts, Morgan Twp., Washington Twp - all incomplete.

Individual Regional Qualifiers

Sean Gallas (MC Marq) 73, Colin Serocinski (KV) 75, Mitch Swan (Ren) 75.

MEDALIST - Steve St. Germain (Ches) 67.

Qualifying Teams

CHESTERTON - Steve St. Germain 67, Sam Chumbley 69, Alex Cook 70, Eric Beckley 71, Scott Woods 80 (thrown out).

MICHIGAN CITY - Anthony Novak 69, Christian Nagle 69, Nate Jones 69, Kyle Nieman 75.

VALPARAISO - Kyle Prow 69, Travis Ranegar 73, Mike Hrunek 74, Eddy Sheptak 76.

 

Posted 6/6/2005