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Callaway’s card carries Comets to 3rd

BCLUW shoots 365 to trail only Grundy, AGWSR

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - BCLUW junior Ray Callaway follows through on his approach shot on the par-4 second hole during Monday’s North Iowa Cedar League West Division boys’ golf tournament at Oak Leaf Country Club near Reinbeck. Callaway carded a round of 43-38—81 and finished in fifth place to lead his Comets to a runner-up spot in the final team standings.

REINBECK — Oak Leaf Country Club was the host of an entertaining new chapter in the NICL West Division meet on Monday. With a course dampened by rain over the weekend and good weather for much of the day, the stage was set for good action in the event Gladbrook-Reinbeck hosted. But for much of the conference, it was a difficult day on the course. Only one team really mastered Oak Leaf — Grundy Center, who took the conference team championship handily with a score of 316 and then took the top two individual spots as well.

BCLUW took third place in the team rankings with a 365, which head coach Heath Rhinehart said was slightly better than where the Comets expected to be.

“Overall, really excited about getting third place,” Rhinehart said. “That’s probably a little better than our average. It was a great day.”

Leading the way for the Comets was junior Ray Callaway. The team’s No. 1 golfer finished in fifth place with an 11-over-par 81. He tied with AGWSR’s Ben Macy for fourth, but lost in a one-hole playoff by bogeying No. 6.

The round was a big positive for the Comets as the season winds down and heads into sectionals, with Callaway showing his ability to put together 18 holes of solid golf.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - East Marshall junior Seth Freese follows through on his tee shot on the seventh hole Monday during the NICL West Division meet at Oak Leaf Country Club near Reinbeck. Freese led the Mustangs with his round of 91.

His round impressed Rhinehart.

“To throw an 81 out there going into the last week of the season possibly, it’s nothing but a confidence booster and hopefully for [Callaway] he’ll be able to carry it into Friday,” Rhinehart said.

Callaway was followed by freshman Mason Martin, who recovered from a front-nine 50 to shoot 50-41-91. Kade Pekarek and Walker Ashton shot 97s to round out the counting scores for the Comets.

East Marshall was in fourth place, finishing behind the Comets with a score of 393. The Mustangs had their usual top three finishers — Sam Freese with a 91, Ethan Espenscheid with a 95 and Toby Ryan with a 96 — but the Mustangs were still left searching for a consistent fourth score below 100.

Head coach Jordan Augspurger said the lack of a consistent fourth man has been something he’s been trying to solve all season long.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

“Usually we have three guys in our nine-hole rounds coming in in the 40s,” Augspurger said. “We’re still waiting on that fourth score to come in below 50, so that’s kind of where we’ve been at all season but the scores are going in the right direction.”

The fourth score for the Mustangs Monday was from Ty Powell, who shot a 111.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck finished last of the six teams at the course Monday, clocking in with a team score of 468. The team’s best score on the day was from Logan Giesking, who shot a 38-over 108. The Rebels counted scores from Isaac Baer (113), Trey Eggers (124) and Kadyn Schick (123).

This season was the last (for now) of the traditional NICL format — next season, when the conference has a West, Central and East division, all 16 teams will congregate to the same course for one big conference meet. G-R athletics director John Olson announced the updated plans to the teams after the meet’s completion.

Olson said that he wasn’t afraid of changes but acknowledged that there will be positives and negatives from the move.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

“I think it’s a little bit of everything, right?” Olson said. “I think it can be something positive to show people how good the NICL is in golf, boys’ and girls’. I think it can be positive to give the better teams in our conference to compete against some better teams that are maybe in the Central or East division. I think there’s lots of positives there. There’s some negatives to it, you’ve got a whole lot of people on one course. It’ll be more of a regional type feeling, or maybe more of a state feeling.”

NICL West Division Meet

At Reinbeck

Oak Leaf Country Club, par 70

Team Standings — 1. Grundy Center 316, 2. AGWSR 341, 3. BCLUW 365, 4. East Marshall 389, 5. South Hardin 416, 6. Gladbrook-Reinbeck 468.

Individual (top 8) — 1. Ashton Martens, GC, 72; 2. Dexter Whitehill, GC, 76; 3. Daniel Stahl, AGWSR, 79; 4. Ben Macy, AGWSR, 81; 5. Ray Callaway, BCLUW, 81; 6. Trey Lashbrook, AGWSR, 83; 7. Ben Wegman, GC, 85; 8. Sullivan Dirks, GC, 86.

GRUNDY CENTER (316) — Martens 72, Whithill 76, Wegman 85, Dirks 86, Tanner Hoeg 88, Sam Bingman 94.

AGWSR (341) — Stahl 79, Macy 81, Lashbrook 83, Eli Brandt 98, Bo Gerbracht 107, Eli Kuper 111.

BCLUW (365) — Callaway 81, Mason Martin 91, Kade Pekarek 97, Walker Ashton 97, Angus Callaway 105, Bodie Butler 109.

EAST MARSHALL (389) — Seth Freese 91, Ethan Espenscheid 95, Toby Ryan 96, Ty Powell 111, Ethan Lamb 113, Dakota Sawyer 113.

SOUTH HARDIN (416) — Tyler Harrell 98, Dante Dolash 102, John Lepley 103, Kayne Harrell 114, Nolan Gehrke 119, Sullivan Goodell 133.

GLADBROOK-REINBECK (468) — Logan Giesking 108, Isaac Baer 113, Kadyn Schick 123, Trey Eggers 124, Austin Gehring 145, Ian White 156.

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