DURANT, Iowa — Durant High School’s Von Glaser was the last score to come in on the front nine for the Wildcats boys golf team at its sectional tournament at West Liberty Golf & Country Club last Friday.
Glaser came in with a 41 — his team’s lowest score halfway through.
The junior wasn’t Durant’s No. 1, No. 2 or even No. 3 golfer. But that’s how this season has been for the Wildcats.
“All six of our guys have scored for us at some point in the season,” Durant coach John Walsh said. “Everybody knows that on any given night that it won’t by the same two or three guys that we are relying on. They know that if they have bad hole, or one individual is playing bad, they don’t feel like the whole night is lost for the team. Somebody’s going to pick it up.”
Glaser finished with an 85 — about eight strokes below his average for 18 holes.
Freshman teammate Lake Koenig tied for the fourth best score with an 82 as the Wildcats finished with a team total of 341, second to Mount Vernon’s 326, and qualified for Friday’s district tournament at Geneva Golf and Country Club in Muscatine.
Also at the district tournament will be Columbus and Wapello, as they finished with 337 and 348, respectively, at the sectional at Flint Hills Golf Course in Burlington.
Wilton’s Adam McNamara qualified as an individual with a 78 while Columbus’ Zac Howell and Chase Finke each turned in 80s.
Getting beat out by Mount Vernon was just the fourth time that has happened all season for Durant, which has posted an impressive overall record of 59-4.
How’d they get so good? Well, they practice — a lot.
“We’ve got a group of guys — most of them — they spend a lot of time playing the game,” Walsh said. “They love golf, play it all summer. They‘re golfers.”
Lake Koenig’s brother, Jace, is the Wildcats’ No. 1 golfer. Jace, a junior, earned medalist honors with an 80 at the Mid-Prairie Hawk Invitational at Kalona Golf Club on April 30 for a second consecutive season and was the medalist at Durant’s Wildcat Invitaional on April 24 as well.
Lake was co-medalist at a nine-hole triangular meet hosted by Durant on April 29, with a 38 and the Wildcats’ No. 3 golfer Conrad Hoover, a sophomore, was this season’s Cedar Valley Conference individual champion, shooting a 74 at Saddleback Ridge Golf Course in Solon on May 7. Jace followed with a 75 for second and Durant won the conference by 14 strokes.
“Some years, you have teams that have some good athletes that can golf well, but these guys are good golfers,” Walsh said. “It’s great to see all their hard work and effort pay off.”
Their hard work is far from over through, as they will have to be one of two top teams out of seven while battling a course that will present new challenges.
“It’s kind of like the great equalizer,” Walsh said about Geneva. “None of the teams have played on greens like the ones we will play (Friday). The two teams that hit the ball well and sink putts will advance (to the state tournament).
“We’ll see. Like anybody else, we’ll have to play well and bring it all together for one day.”