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updated: 8/26/2014 9:48 PM

St. Charles East makes early River statement

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By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent

St. Charles East used a time-honored recipe -- home cooking -- to jettison back-to-back uncharacteristically poor performances in 18-hole tournaments.

"We didn't play very well Saturday, we didn't play very well last Thursday," St. Charles East boys golf coach John Stock said of consecutive tournaments in Bartonville-Limestone and Woodstock.

But Ronnie Griggs and Kyle McWeeney used a familiar environment Tuesday in St. Charles -- their home golf course, Royal Fox Country Club -- to engineer an early season statement for the Saints in Upstate Eight Conference River action.

Griggs and McWeeney fired 4-over 39s; five other St. Charles East players followed suit with rounds of 42 or better as the Saints had a comfortable quadrangular victory over Batavia, Waubonsie Valley and St. Charles North.

With its 159 total St. Charles East bettered both Batavia and St. Charles North, who finished with respective scores of 169 and 175; Valley member Waubonsie Valley, which had the medalist in Connor Esch (38), finished at 172.

"Today was the essence of team," Stock said. "It's a no-brainer. If you eliminate the big numbers (a central issue for St. Charles East last week), you often times play better."

Griggs, the Saints' sixth man, and eighth-man McWeeney were the difference for St. Charles East, which also had counting scores from Gary King (40) and twin 41s by Colin Johnson and Jake Meiss.

"It's a really big way to start off the year," Griggs said. "We played solid as a team. It was great beating every team that we played today. Hopefully that will continue for the rest of the year."

McWeeney made the most of his first start this season.

"I just tried to come out and play the course I know and play the best that I could," McWeeney said. "I left a lot of putts out there that I probably should have made, some greens that I probably should have hit."

Nick LaRocco and Andrew Nelson were the low men for Batavia with rounds of 40 and 41.

"I think East showed their depth," Batavia coach Tim DeBruycker said. "Their sixth and eighth -- that's where they beat us."

St. Charles East (3-0, 2-0) had its three-year divisional run ended by Geneva last season.

But DeBruycker is convinced the Bulldogs (2-1, 1-1) are far from out of contention.

"If we can hold serve (win our home conference matches)," DeBruycker said, "it will be a wide open race."

St. Charles North (0-6, 0-2) dropped its second quadrangular in as many days.

The North Stars' Jake Muehlschlegel was their top player with a 42.

"(This is) probably not the right group to be talking about conference championships the second week of the season," St. Charles North coach Rob Prentiss said. "We're trying to get the guys to reach their potential as golfers. We've got talent. We're going to get to work and try and get better."

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