The McChesney Cup has been a historically competitive start to the high school athletic year.
But Monday at Geneva Country Club, the boys golf teams from St. Charles were on a different level than their counterparts from Batavia and Geneva.
In the three-round Ryder Cup-styled competition between the four Tri-Cities high schools, St. Charles' depth at the lower ranks produced a true anomaly in the six-year history of the event: a near 50-point victory in the match-play event.
"We won because of our depth at five, six, seven and eight," St. Charles East coach John Stock said after the two St. Charles high schools augmented their commanding lead from scramble and better-ball play with a 20-point triumph in singles competition.
"A positive for East and North. We just happened to play very well together. It's great to come out and play like this the first day."
The opening day of the golf season could not have been scripted any better for the two St. Charles high schools against their Upstate Eight Conference River rivals.
St. Charles' dominance was on display from the earliest stages; the schools captured 7 of the opening 8 matches in scramble play.
The result was a 19-point cushion, and the middle nine holes did not alter the overall picture very much as four more wins and a pair of halved matches gave St. Charles a plurality of 10 more points.
The Saints' and North Stars' 82-62 triumph in the eight singles matches made the final score as academic -- 168.5-119.5 -- as the play was one-sided.
"We just didn't want to get too comfortable with our leads," said St. Charles East eighth-man Mike Bertke, the sophomore who won his singles match by a six-hole margin. "I just went out there, played my game and stayed tough. That ended up leading me to a victory. I didn't start out too well."
St. Charles North sophomore Michael Stascuk dropped merely a hole in recording a 7-2 win in his battle between seventh-men.
"I really focused on making my decisions based on how my opponent (was faring)," Stascuk said. "He put himself in some bad positions, and I played conservatively. I kept one-upping him. It worked out well for me."
St. Charles East won four consecutive singles matches from Nos. 2 through 5 as Daniel Haugen typified the schools' singles aplomb with another easy victory.
"(St. Charles) East had the advantage with senior leadership (in the early rounds)," Batavia coach Tim DeBruycker said.
Gary King, Colin Johnson and Luke Spencer were the other St. Charles East singles players to win in the four-match run.
Geneva sophomore Spencer Monroe was a positive for the Vikings' and Bulldogs' units in singles play.
"(I) just tried to keep it in play," said Monroe, who recorded a 6-3 win. "(My St. Charles North) opponent kept hitting it out (of position). I just shot as well as I could."