Senior leadership was on display on both sides of the fairway on a cool Tuesday evening at Arlington Lakes Golf Club.
Two up-and-coming Mid-Suburban League East boys golf teams, Buffalo Grove and host Rolling Meadows, squared off in a conference dual in Arlington Heights in what was the Mustangs' senior night celebration.
Brandon Matchen of BG shot 37 to spark the Bison to a 155-165 victory, while Sean Behrens led Meadows with a 40.
After the match, Behrens and senior teammates Gino Tunzi and Alex Miller were lauded for what they've meant to the Meadows program.
"I'm really going to miss these guys," said Meadows coach Rob Bowers. "Over the summer at camp and now during the season, the younger guys have looked up to Sean, Alex and Gino as role models. We've got 16 underclassmen in the program and a lot of that is due to the example set by these seniors. They're great players and great kids and they'll leave behind quite a legacy."
"We know our roles," said Tunzi. "We've got to show leadership and teach the younger guys about not only golf but high school life in general."
Tunzi fired a 40 and Miller contributed with 43, while Matchen's match-low round included a couple of birdies.
Matchen was also able to reflect on his stellar prep career, which started with him playing on varsity as only a sophomore.
"I feel like it's a lot easier for me this year," said the senior. "There's a lot less nerves, and our team has a ton of momentum."
BG came into Tuesday's meet off a sterling home effort at Buffalo Grove Golf Course, a triangular in which the Bison defeated Elk Grove and came within 2 shots of knocking off MSL East power Hersey.
"We've been playing very well," added Matchen. "I like this course (Arlington Lakes) -- it's a little shorter than we're used to and the greens are different."
Another pair of seniors, BG's Matt Froemming and Matt Eilrich, fired 39 and 41 to help the Bison to the big road win.
The two have known each other since attending middle school together at Thomas in Arlington Heights.
"It's definitely hard to believe this is our last year," said Eilrich. "It's gone by fast. We don't have much time left so we've got to concentrate on going out and shooting the best we can every time out, and hopefully that'll lead to success at sectionals."
"It's shocking," added Froemming of the fact that they're headed to the finale of their high school golf careers. "We've got some goals that we want to achieve -- now we've just to play it as well as we can and see what we can do for an encore."
A BG underclassman got into the act as well, as Jeff Nelson carded a 38 to help the Bison win.
"We're the seniors -- we've got the experience," said BG's Matchen. "We not only have to play well but show the juniors and sophomores what it takes to be successful."
• Schaumburg freshman Miguel Go earned medalist honors with a 2-under 34 at Schaumburg Golf Club, but Prospect, led by a 36 from Josh Johnson and a 37 from Reid Dahlstrom, won 147-165.
• Barrington prevailed over Fremd and Conant in a terrific MSL West matchup, finishing at 153 at Bridges of Poplar Creek to edge Fremd (155) and Conant (163).
Barrington's Cole Kempinski and Conant's Zach Prill both shot 2-over 37. Fremd's Jamie Drost and Barrington's Tim Lim had 38s, and Barrington's Brad Powell, Burke Barsamian and Joey Batliner, Fremd's Josh Rosenzweig and Conant's Christian Dorman had 39s.