Boys golf: Barrington, Conant's Simon are MSL champs
The state series for IHSA prep sports is back this year after a one-season absence due to COVID, and no one is happier about that than Barrington senior golfer Brock Dickson.
Especially since his Broncos boys golf team will head into the postseason as Mid-Suburban League champions.
Wednesday afternoon at Bridges of Poplar Creek in Hoffman Estates, Barrington -- which came to the title meet with an 11-0 mark in regular-season matches -- sealed the deal by finishing first at the championship meet.
The Broncos clinched the overall crown by carding a team score of 303, just in front of Prospect, which was second at 305.
Buffalo Grove had the third best score at Poplar, a 313, while Conant (314) was fourth.
"This is great, to say the least," said Dickson. "I'm really proud of what our team has done, not only today, but over the whole season, really. It's not just one or two guys -- it's our entire team. Everyone has made a difference.
"It feels good to have state back, what can I say? Last year we were feeling really good as a team, and to not have the state series, it was disappointing. Now this year, we're going to give it our best and try to win it all."
Conant sophomore Nicolas Simon won individual medalist honors with an even-par 70.
Simon keyed the win with a birdie on the difficult 12th hole, and went on from there, earning another birdie on the 17th to cap off a stellar back 9.
He hit a 4 iron down the middle on the 12th, then used a pitching wedge to get within 6 feet of the hole -- and sank the birdie putt.
"That kind of got things rolling for me," said Simon, who gave props to his father, Patrick, who, "got me into the game, and taught me everything I know. All the credit goes to him.
"Kind of a crazy day today (weather-wise)," added Simon. "A big change to what we've been used to. I played Sunday and it was 30 degrees warmer than what it was today. I walked out of the garage this morning and had to go back and put another layer on. Downhill, downwind putts were really crazy, so you had to stay below the hole. Just a tough day today."
Freshman Drew Schauenberg of Barrington and Prospect's Luke Kruger were second individually at 71.
"Luke is probably the hardest worker I've ever seen," said teammate Daniel Raupp, a senior. "He tries to do everything he can to make himself better and make the team better.
"Today was definitely a fight all the way through. Our coach really had us prepared for this course. A few holes we had to stay back, hit the green, and 2-putt, but there were other holes where we said, 'if you think you have a shot, go for it'. That worked solid today, especially in these windy conditions."
Seniors Dylan Dunne (76) and Owen Naughten (77) contributed to Barrington's winning placement, as did Broncos sophomore Walker Grelle (79), while Daniel Raupp (77), Will Salzmann (78) and Patrick Raupp (79) counted scores for Prospect.
Buffalo Grove's Dori Lee shot 73 for fourth in the individual race, while Vassilios Davis of Schaumburg finished fifth at 75.
For Conant, it was the second consecutive year that a Cougars golfer has taken home medalist honors. Simon followed in the footsteps of last year's champ, Nikko Ganas.
"Nicolas is a fantastic player, and an even better person," said Conant coach Scott Cieplik of Simon. "His maturity level is beyond his years, and you can see that on the course as far as his course management and decision making.
"He just plays well in all types of weather. Wind, rain, cold, he's going to play the same. He's got a game plan out there, and he sticks with it. Nicolas puts the ball in play and makes the putts he needs to make."