LIVERMORE - A new Class 2A state golf champion will be crowned this spring, and the St. Edmond boys are hoping they are the ones left standing.
The first of two rounds of play tees off today at Spring Valley Golf Course.
Joining the Gaels in the team field will be East Sac County, Denver, Durant, Carroll Kuemper, Mount Vernon, Panorama, Monroe-PCM and South Hamilton.
Waterloo Columbus, the reigning champions, did not advance. Monroe-PCM, which finished second, returns, along with South Hamilton, Mount Vernon and Durant from last spring.
St. Edmond is also in that group, having shot a 691 over the two-day event to place sixth. Eddie Doyle is the top returning finisher after earning fourth.
"The guys are ready to go," SEHS head coach Dan Streit said. "We've had a good week of practice and it sounds like the weather is going to cooperate for everybody, which should result in good scoring.
"The kids have played this course and enjoy playing it."
Despite losing the defending champions, Streit knows the field will be a tough one again this year.
The Hawks shot a 290 to win their district and lead 2A this season in 18-hole team scoring average with a 307. St. Edmond's 318 was tied for second, while Panorama, PCM, East Sac County and Mount Vernon were in the top-eight.
"It's going to take a good score to come out on top, and it will be important to have a good first day," Streit said. "Our low this year is a 302, but that came on our home course. If we can shoot in the 315-320 range, that will be real good for us and we'll be in the thick of things.
"The experience we gained last year will also be important. I'm proud of the kids for qualifying two straight years, but I know they want to do better than they did last year."
Doyle and Cal Coleman are the lone seniors competing for St. Edmond, as they are joined by junior Michael Faiferlick, sophomores Robert Flattery and Harrison Mayer, and ninth-grader Charlie Doyle.
East Sac County edged the Gaels at districts by one stroke thanks to Justin Kraft's 74. Dylan Sheffler, a freshman, Zach Mason, Alex Green and Reed Tellinghuisen were all in the 80s for the Raiders.
Emmetsburg's Mike Pugh and Mike Myers also advanced in 2A as individuals after carding 77s at districts. They are both seniors.
'Cats, Lynx in 3A field
AMES - North Central Conference rivals Humboldt and Webster City will be part of the Class 3A state golf field, advancing out of district play.
The two-day tournament will be contested here at Ames Golf and Country Club.
Both teams are loaded with underclassmen, as seven of the 12 are juniors, two more are sophomores and one is a freshman.
The Wildcats shot a 307 at districts, led by 76s from Christian Birdsell and Austen Gargano. Casey Kayser added a 77, Jaxon Heinz a 78, Andy Nelson an 83 and Brenden Schnell a 94.
For the Lynx, 10th-graders Alec and Avery Fuhs helped lead the way to a 306, shooting 72 and 73, respectively. Logan Yates carded a 79, Sean Vogelbacher an 82 and both John Ferrell and Drew Fielder 85s.
West Delaware enters state off a 299 team performance, followed by another NCC squad in Clear Lake, which shot a 300.
Rounding out the field will be Ballard, Centerville, Central Clinton, Creston/Orient-Macksburg and Williamsburg.
Creston/O-M has the lowest 18-hole team average at 306 after winning state gold last year, followed by West Delaware at 310. Webster City was seventh in 3A.
Garrigan, Newell-Fonda compete for 1A gold
MARSHALLTOWN - The Bishop Garrigan and Newell-Fonda boys golf teams will hit American Legion Golf Course searching for Class 1A state gold here beginning today.
Along with the Golden Bears and Mustangs, East Buchanan, Griswold, Grundy Center, Lisbon, Riverside and Winfield-Mount Union all qualified.
The Golden Bears shot a 330 at districts, led by Jess Marlow and Zach Boelter,w ho each shot 82s. Donovan Berte and Logan Capesius carded matching 83s, while Michael Berke had an 86 and Andrew Lallier an 87.
Berke is a senior, Marlow a junior, Lallier and Boelter are sophomores, and Berte and Capesius are just ninth-graders.
The Mustangs had a 332 thanks to Brady Dicks' 79. Ben Lindstrom carded an 83, Luke Koster an 84, Jason Hess an 86, Adam Mullen an 89 and Colton Tiefenthaler a 96.
Dicks and Mullen are juniors, while the other four are just 10th-graders.
Riverside had the lowest 18-hole team average in 1A this spring at 324, while Garrigan was fourth with a 338.
Sibley-Ocheyedan was team champions last spring, but did not qualify this year.