St. Charles East duo playing well
The often palpably tense moments as the final scores were being posted at the Class 3A Glenbard West boys golf sectional last fall were ever present.
Jake Daeschler was virtually guaranteed a berth to the state tournament by virtue of his individual play at Village Links in Glen Ellyn.
But he and his St. Charles East teammates had grander visions.
It was not to be, however, as DuKane Conference rival Geneva snared the third and final team berth to Bloomington by a mere shot.
Veteran coaches are unanimous in their belief the dynamic of the state experience is an entirely different circumstance competing with the team versus playing as an at-large individual.
"To come up one shot short was a bummer," Daeschler said. "The goal for us was to make it to state as a team."
But the Saints had two major consolation prizes as Daeschler and fellow junior Bennett Mortensen bettered the individual cut.
Daeschler played admirably at the Den at Fox Creek, posting a 2-over 74 in first-round play before settling for an aggregate two-day total of 152 to place solo 15th.
"I know my strengths and my limits," Daeschler said of his mental approach. "I am going to make the best score possible. We want to win as many matches and tournaments as we can."
Mortensen fell victim to the controversial IHSA decision to institute a first-round cut for individuals and teams last October in Bloomington.
But Mortensen enters his final season with renewed enthusiasm after his breakout junior campaign.
"I got a lot of confidence in the offseason improving my game," Mortensen said. "I am much more ready for the moment than I was last year. (Daeschler and I) now have the experience of the pressure in handling the moment."
"Golf will be in my future," Daeschler said of his long-term aims.
There was talk in local coaching circles that this season would mark the swan song of Saints coach John Stock.
The only coach in the St. Charles East program since St. Charles North opened in the fall of 2000, Stock has relinquished his day-to-day duties to Jason Potter for family considerations.
"I will be back next year," Stock said.
Waubonsie Valley update
Phillips Park has been at the epicenter of major golf events in Aurora since the days of FDR.
The par-71 layout has become a second home to Waubonsie Valley this century.
"A lot of our boys have grown up playing there," Waubonsie Valley coach Eric Flodberg said. "They do such a great job for junior golf."
Last Friday at the Aurora City Tournament, the Warriors' Kenton Esch tasted victory in twofold fashion.
The junior claimed the individual title on the second scorecard tiebreaker with Metea Valley junior Aman Shah after each player crafted a regulation 73.
Waubonsie Valley also won its fourth consecutive city championship with a 301-308 victory over Metea Valley.
Esch corrected a recalcitrant driver before authoring a level-par 35 on his homeward nine to frame a career-low score at Phillips Park.
"The first nine my drives were all over the place," Esch said. "I started making some putts. The putting was good throughout the day."
Waubonsie Valley used its city titles as a springboard to a state appearance two years ago and DuPage Valley Conference top honors a season ago.
"Our boys step up their game when they play city," Flodberg said. "There is a lot of prestige (to winning), and they get a lot of recognition."
Marmion (335) was third at Phillips Park, followed by Aurora Central Catholic (341), Aurora Christian (366) and West Aurora (370).
Andrew Munson (80), John Wojcik (80) and Noah Sommerville (81) were the respective leaders for Marmion, Aurora Central and Aurora Christian; Andrew Bacarella was the low man for West Aurora.
Buffalo Grove update
In the single-division Mid Suburban League, team and individual excellence is showcased on a regular basis.
Buffalo Grove junior Dori Lee earned the final all-state medal last fall with his two-day 6-over 150 score.
The Bison have a formidable one-two punch this fall as John Beerheide complements Lee in more ways than one.
"They are playing about 13 months a year," Buffalo Grove coach Peter Duffer joked of his two junior standouts. "They are right in the mix all the time. (Lee) has a tremendous putting stroke. He has excellent composure."
Beerheide may not possess the ball-striking skills Lee unleashes on a regular basis but compensates in other ways.
"It is diabolical how good he is at hitting fairways and greens," Duffer said of Beerheide. "They push each other but in a good way."
Duffer's son, Luke, is currently ranked sixth in the individual conference standings as the senior leader for Rolling Meadows.