WARSAW — The road to the 80th Annual Boys Golf State Tournament starts at Rozella Ford Golf Club. Friday morning the beautifully redone course will play host to 12 area schools that will hope to punch their ticket to the regional.
The field is highlighted by Columbia City. The Eagles, who won last year’s sectional with a 303, enter with arguably the field’s most polarizing lineup, Tyler Green, Spencer Klimek, Spencer McCammon, Cameron Slavich and Nick Decker, all of which are capable of shooting in the 70s.
Another team that many will have their eye on is Northfield. The Norse are led by Braydon Schindler, one of the regions top talents. Schindler shot a 71 at last year’s sectional, second best behind Klimek’s 70. Schindler is backed by Caleb Kroh, Kameron Cole, Austin Trump and Isaac Gottschalk. Northfield finished the regular season with a Three Rivers Conference title and a 15-0 record.
As for local teams, Warsaw hopes to continue its successful streak of sectional showings going. The Tigers cut it close last year but earned a regional bid. The last time Warsaw missed a regional cut was 1993.
The Tigers are fronted by Sam Yeager and Tim Rata. Rata was an All-NLC honoree while Yeager was Honorable Mentional All-NLC. Michael Jensen, Luke Delp and Tommy Meier round out Warsaw’s lineup.
Wawasee has struggled to regain some of its early season success as of late, but the Warriors still have a shot at punching a ticket to regional.
The Warriors are led by Jeffrey Moore and Cal Heinisch, both who have the ability to shoot in the 70s, but the lineup has consistency problems after that. While capable of shooting in the 80s, Cameron Adams and Kyle Weideman have also fell victim to big scores and have had to settle in the 90s. Wawasee’s fifth spot has been a revolving door all season.
Whitko has been playing some of its best golf as of late and will hope to play spoiler along with Triton at this weekend’s tournament.
The Wildcats are led by Cade Bechtold, who shot a season-best round of 39 last week. Whitko will need another outing like that to have a shot and will also need big days from Tim Gensch, Grady Clingerman, Austin Newttrouer and Kaleb Busz.
Triton will have the benefit of playing on its home course and will look to take advantage with its top golfer, Jordan Anderson. Anderson shot an 87 at last year’s sectional. The Trojans lineup is rounded off by Isaac Wall, Beau Hepler, Braden Kreft and Bryce Swihart.
Tippecanoe Valley is led by Jeremy Julian, Cole Cumberland and Trevor Neeley.
Plymouth made it out at last year’s sectional, placing second with a 305. The Pilgrims are led into this year’s tournament by Micah Calhoun and Hudson Yoder.
The top three teams and top three individuals (not already on qualifying teams) will advance to next Thursday’s regional at Stonehenge.