The good news for Barrington's boys golf team after the Class 3A Palatine regional at Palatine Hills is that the future appears to be very bright.
The bad news for everyone else in the Mid-Suburban League the next few years and those who participated in a very tough, but absolutely perfect regional from a weather standpoint on Tuesday is that Tom Calbi is only a freshman.
Calbi, who already won two previous tournaments this season, birdied his first 2 holes and cruised to a 2-under round of 70, which edged-out Jacobs' Billy Walker by a stroke for the top overall medalist spot.
Ironically, both Calbi and Walker bogeyed No. 18, but Walker's day wasn't spoiled as he qualified for sectionals as well and helped lead Jacobs to a first place team finish with a score of 298, the Golden Eagles' best round of the season. Barrington was the runner-up with a 301 and Huntley, one of the last teams to finish its round, tied Fremd at 308. The Red Raiders squeaked into their third sectional on a tiebreaker, with 3 players posting a score of 78.
The top 3 teams and the top 10 individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to Monday's Class 3A Huntley sectional at Blackstone Golf Club in Marengo.
Calbi, who canceled out bogeys on 9, 14 and 18 with birdies on 6, 13 and 16, used his long game after jumping out to a good start on a course he's shot under par three previous times.
"I hit some really good shots onto the greens and made some good putts on the first couple holes," Calbi said. "Usually when I hit better shots, my putting is more confident."
Barrington coach Mike Kallenbach noticed Calbi as one of the better Broncos golfers all season, but not anything like this before.
"These last couple weeks -- yes," Kallenbach said." I said to him (today) this is the best I have ever seen him play. He's hitting the ball great off the tee, his iron shots are solid and his chipping and putting, I feel, is the strength of his game (and) has been right on."
But so too was Jacobs. The Eagles have been on a tear all season with 3 first -place plaques and along with Walker's 71, Jack Ramsett's 2-over 74, Gabe Askam's 76 and Chris Boyle's 77, Golden Eagles' coach Jeremy Bauer couldn't be more pleased or proud of the program's second regional title and first since 2009.
"This is when it matters," Bauer said. "It's really the depth of our team. If one guy doesn't really have a great day someone's there to pick him up and it showed through today with our six-guy Billy (Walker) shooting 1-under and some of the other guys not putting together their best rounds of the season. But it's a team sport and I'm very proud of the fact we're a team here and we've got a lot of guys who can contribute."
Walker, who went bogey-free on the front nine (33) with 3 birdies, birdied 10, 11 and 15 before bogeying 18 (a common occurrence throughout), was feeling it off the tee all day long.
"Off the tee definitely, my wedge play was the best its ever been all year," said Walker, who had 28 putts. "My wedges were on, my driver was on. It's a good combination."
Among the other individual qualifiers were Fremd seniors Dylan Norys (73), Josh Rosenzweig (74) and junior Matt Doherty (78); Cary-Grove's Daniel DePrey (74) Pete Kalamaras (78) and Brandon Diblasi (79) and Palatine's Preston Towers (79), Trace Holloway (79), Dan Coleman (81) and Reese Van Balen (81).
DePrey, who putted 29 times, had 2 birdies and an eagle on No. 15, was competing for the championship medal all the way until the end.
"It was pretty good up until the last one where I tripled," said DePrey, whose best score at Blackstone is a 69, which bodes well for his chances to make state. "I had to go under a tree and it just went 20 yards over the green too far and got in mud back there. And the rest was just bad."
Coleman, Van Balen and Palatine senior captain Tim Klein had to play in a three-way, one-hole playoff, with 2 of the 3 with lower scores advancing to the sectional. Rare that it had to come between 3 teammates, Coleman and Van Balen were able to outlast Klein.
"It was a tough with Reese being my teammate and Tim being our captain," Coleman said. "Him being with us his senior year, it was kind of sad but that's how it turned out. I want to thank Tim for being such a great captain and role model."
Earlier in the day, Coleman shot his yellow ball onto the fairway on the par-5 sixth hole, which became the victim of a lawn mower. Superstitious a bit, Coleman had to go to another yellow ball, which almost cost him his spot in the sectional.
"I saw the lawn mower come up and I was looking for my ball and I see it in the fairway and it was cut up by the blades," Coleman said. "I ended getting a better score with the one that was all cut up."
Huntley was able to grab the final team qualifying spot away from Fremd.
"We've literally come from nowhere in a relatively short time that the program's been around," Huntley coach Jim Rolando said. "We thought if we could shoot between 306, 310, that we have a chance. If we were under 310 we would have a chance to move on."
Riley Wicks and Brad Spoeth each had 76s for the Red Raiders while the trio of Trent Craig, Tyler Ross and Jake Grabner each shot 78.
"They didn't really bump us out," Teschner said of Huntley. "We bumped ourselves out by not getting the job done earlier in the day. As frustrating as it is, the only control in golf is what you do individually, so when a team comes in -- that's good for them, great, congratulations to Huntley. Coach Rolando has done a fantastic job. But we have to finish -- we have to finish. That was the problem at the conference tournament and it was our problem today. The last few holes killed us."
Fremd's top golfer, Jamie Drost, shot an 83 and didn't advance. But Rosenzewig's driver off the tee was good enough for a 74.
"I didn't really miss the fairway, that helped," said Rosenzweig. "Didn't miss a lot of greens, my putting was spot-on. I literally couldn't miss a putt until the last hole (18), I double-bogeyed.
"All I had to do was bogey that hole and we would've gotten out as a team."
Rounding out team play were Cary-Grove and Palatine at 320, Crystal Lake South at 350, Lake Zurich at 354 and Dundee-Crown at 363.