When Burlington Central senior Matt Weber was ruled ineligible to play IHSA boys golf due to playing in an amateur tournament after the season had begun, Rockets coach Deb Twenhafel wasn't very optimistic about her team's chances of advancing in the postseason.
Tuesday, the Rockets shocked even Twenhafel.
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With sophomore Austin Niesel bringing in a 79, Burlington Central shot a 324 to nose out Sycamore by 1 shot for the third and final sectional qualifying spot out of the Class 2A Sycamore regional at Sycamore Golf Club. Kaneland won the team title with a 302 and Wheaton Academy was second at 319.
"Very surprising," said Twenhafel. "The boys were like 'Wow, we did this without Matt.' Matt was a big component for some of them in terms of their confidence. We weren't sure we'd get anybody out much less the team. We've got a young team with four sophomores so our expectation was to just go in and get more experience. But they really picked it up today."
The Rockets did get a boost from two of their seniors as Brad Roberts (81) and Austin Dell (82) will join Niesel and sophomore Andrew Sherman (80) at next Monday's Belvidere North sectional at Timber Pointe.
Wheaton Academy freshman Grant Gosden shot a 71 to win Tuesday's regional.
St. Edward will send three players to Timber Pointe as freshman Michael Mattis (80) and juniors Dan Winters (84 and John Butzow (84) each qualified for the sectional round. Hampshire junior Geoff Beck also made the cut with an 84.
Class 3A at Lake Park: A high cut score worked in Bartlett's favor at the Lake Park regional at Indian Lakes. Even though the Hawks missed out on a team qualifying spot for the St. Charles East sectional, shooting a 349 to finish fourth and 2 shots behind third-place Addison Trail, Bartlett will send three individuals to St. Andrews next Monday. Senior Ryan Wolfe shot an 86 to advance, while sophomore Mike Coyne and senior Dan Vanderbiest each had 87s, which was the cut score.
Fenton sophomore Sebastian Dobon won the individual title with a 74. Lake Park grabbed the team title with a 336 and Conant was second at 341.
Class 1A at Chicago U-High: Elgin Academy advanced two individuals to next Monday's Westminster Christian sectional at Golf Club of Illinois, while Westminster and Harvest Christian will each have one individual participant. Elgin Academy senior Andrew Dykun advanced with an 83, the same score Westminster junior Connor Rejman had to also move on. Harvest senior Tom Kane shot an 85 to advance and Elgin Academy senior Beck Blair made the cut at 92. North Shore Country Day senior Andrew Bedford won the individual title with a 77, while the advancing teams were North Shore (322), Northridge Prep (363) and Francis Parker (367). Elgin Academy finished fourth with a 374, Westminster was sixth with a 385 and Harvest shot a 428.