SD golf 11521

Stephen Decatur golfers who competed in the state tournament last week at University of Maryland - College Park, from left, are sophomore Kole Kohut, senior captain Abby Wesche, freshman Sam Boger, senior captain Jacob Bauer and sophomore Evan Oglesby.

(Nov. 5, 2021) Five Stephen Decatur golfers competed in the state tournament last week at University of Maryland - College Park.

The 3A/4A classification schools played last Monday. Decatur, a 1A/2A school, took to the challenging course on Tuesday. The top teams and individuals advanced to the final round on Wednesday.

Sophomores Kole Kohut and Evan Oglesby, senior captain Jacob Bauer and freshman Sam Boger competed as a team. Senior captain Abby Wesche played as an individual in the tournament.

Wesche was the only Decatur golfer with experience playing in the state tournament. She was one of three Decatur golfers who advanced to the tournament in 2019, when she was a sophomore.

Oglesby (83), Kohut (90), Boger (94) and Bauer (98) did not qualify for the second day of the 2021 competition. Wesche shot an 85 on Day 1 and made the cut to advance to the second day.

The cutoff for boys was 81, and 85 for girls.

“They played as well as they could on a golf course they’re not familiar with. It was a great opportunity for the younger players to experience it for the first time. They saw how competitive it was and it will help them for next year,” said Decatur Coach Dan Stearman. “Abby had a great day. She was the only one from the Bayside Conference to advance to the finals. That’s quite an accomplishment. I was proud that she got to the finals.”

Wesche shot a 95 on the second day.

“I think that I didn’t play to my full potential on either day, but I am happy with the way that I played on the first day,” she said. “Going into the first day I wasn’t as nervous as I thought that I would have been, which I believe is what helped me play well that day compared to the second day. Just being in the top six girls from the 1A/2A was a great feeling. I didn’t play as well as I would have liked on the second day, I think due to how nervous I was and my whole team watching me play the first few holes.”

The Decatur group earned a spot in the state championship because of their performance during the Oct. 13 District VIII tournament. Decatur came in second place, two strokes behind Kent Island, 330-328.

The team score advanced the Decatur foursome – Kohut (80) Oglesby (82), Bauer (83) and Boger (85) – to states. Wesche shot a 91 during the district event, which qualified her as an individual for states.

The week prior, Decatur captured the Bayside Conference championship by one stroke over Kent Island, 338-339. The Seahawks went undefeated, 11-0, during the regular season.

“We had a great season. We exceeded some expectations and they surprised me some times,” Stearman said. “It will catapult us to bigger and better things. We’re young and they want to get better. The season showed how much better they can get, which is exciting for us.”

Stearman said he enjoyed coaching the players this year.

“It was fun to coach this group. Sky is the limit for this group next year, because even though we’re graduating some seniors, I think the talent level here and the players moving up the ranks is really going to help us moving forward,” he said. “It’s going to be very exciting to be the Decatur golf coach the next couple years.”

The team will graduate three players – Bauer, Wesche and Evan Ritz.

“My freshman year I was on JV and the other three years I was on varsity. To sum up my high school golf career, I would say that it was a great experience getting to know new people and making new friends,” Wesche said. “Also playing competitively was an amazing experience, especially getting the chance to be able to play at a higher level like going to states. The competition level is much higher than what you are used to playing at a normal match.”

The team will return a number of skilled golfers, Stearman said. In addition, Stearman said the JV program had 10 talented golfers this season. Several eighth graders who will be freshmen next year are solid players as well. There were eight players – seven freshmen and one sophomore – participating in a “first year” program this season.

“I think we’ll be strong next year as well,” he added.

“I think that this year’s team is going to go far in the future. They are such a young team with a lot of talent so I wish them all the best of luck for their future seasons,” Wesche said.

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