BARTLETT – Geneva left the DuKane Conference meet with a bounce back in mind.
The Vikings, who had won the conference the previous three seasons, saw that streak come to an end at the hands of Wheaton Warrenville South at Bartlett Hills. Geneva finished fifth in the tournament.
During a Class 3A regional in Bartlett on Sept. 26, Matt Trimble and the Vikings collectively got back on track with a resounding 13-stroke win to place first as a team. Batavia (327) and St. Charles North (329) followed to advance to the sectional.
“We knew from conference that we obviously needed to improve and get redemption at the same course, Bartlett Hills,” Trimble said. “We put some work in behind the scenes and it proved at regionals. ... [With practice], we all get out by ourselves and improve every day because that’s the goal.”
“We’re certainly very young when it comes to playing varsity competition. So the season has been a bit of a roller coaster where we’ve had some really nice, low rounds and we’ve also gone the other way a little bit,” Geneva coach Eric Hatczel said. “A lot of it depends on what player mentally shows up. It’s easy to get derailed the less experience you have. ... Conference, I think, was one of those days.
“I think we were coming into it looking and thinking we’re underdogs already. We wanted to try and make a name and post a number. ... Any time you get to the state series, whether it’s regionals, sectionals or the state tournament, there’s a different element of pressure or stress in the round. When we hit the regional, it was certainly showing throughout the rest of the field. And our guys kind of held a little steady, which was nice.”
It was the Vikings’ seventh regional title dating to 2015. Trimble (77), Timmy Adkins (78), Ryan O’Rourke (79), Brandon Burggraf (80), Logan Novay (81) and Blake Makowski (85) rounded out the scores for Geneva.
“77 was a good score that day,” Trimble said. “This season was kind of a struggle [swing-wise] in the middle of it, but I knew I needed to step it up for regionals. I worked for it and got the score that I wanted.”
Batavia, which won a regional title last season, turned in a strong effort to take second by two strokes over St. Charles North. Ryan Augustine (78), Adam Warner (79), Ian Steelglove (85) and Jimmy Haug (85) scored for the Bulldogs. Andrew Freedlund (85) and Ben Vozza (94) also competed.
Clay Heilman, who achieved medalist honors at the DuKane Conference meet, earned it again after a 72 to lead the North Stars. Following Heilman were Jack Spotts (82), Jack Van Laningham (85), Lachlan Bowen (88), Keshav Gupta (89) and Jackson Spring (96).
St. Charles East’s Cole Ridgway (81), Anthony Solare (84) and Aarnav Patel (86) advanced to the sectional.
“Due to the weather and the major delays before the round, it was rough getting into a grove and being able to strike the ball well,” Solare said. “It wasn’t the score I wanted, but all that mattered to me was just making it through to sectionals. It’s great that some of my teammates were able to push through with me to sectionals. Aarnav and Cole have been big factors for our team and have continued to score lower and lower as the season has gone on. [I’m] very happy to have such great teammates that have kept such a competitive environment in which we have all been able to, not only get better as individuals, but also as a team.”
The other individuals who qualified for the sectional were DeKalb’s Jonah Keck (76) and Brodie Farrell (84), South Elgin’s Nicholas Martinez (77), Nic Heinrich (85) and Shaan Desai (86) and West Aurora’s AJ Blaskovich (86) and Jake Anderson (87).