By Mike Deak
WARSAW – It’s not surprising to see Warsaw boys golf in the conversation among the state’s elite. Having a state title under its belt in 2005 and 29 sectional titles to its credit, the third most in Indiana state history, it’s not a matter of it, but when.
The 2021 version, however, hit the golf scene with purpose and have been collecting titles along the way.
That course experience against some of the elite programs in northern Indiana has just made Warsaw better. Taking on what was a very sound Northern Lakes Conference field, the Tigers shot a 325 team score at Bent Oak and claimed the conference championship after running undefeated in the round robin.
The Tigers have laid claim to five team championships this season, standing tall after the Joe Harris, Culver Academy and Warsaw Invites as well as two postseason ventures.
Warsaw primed itself for a sectional conquest at Rozella Ford. Needing to shoot in the 290s to fend off a very good Columbia City program, Warsaw posted a 296 to win the Warsaw Sectional championship, all four of its individual scores in the 70s.
And it’s not as if Warsaw is using two low scores and hoping for the best from the remainder. Warsaw has been going eight deep this season, piecing in a core of three to four guys to go along with starting staples Ben Brander, Tucker Carlile and Jack Yeager. The group of Seth Hildebrand, Jaxson Gould, Aidan Bowell and Lewis Turley have all been interchangeable in those fourth and fifth position. And that’s not even factoring in No. 1 Cal Hoskins, who was the sectional medalist but missed a good chunk of the beginning of the season getting his eligibility status in order.
In what amounted to one of the toughest regionals in the state, the field gobbled up Warsaw as the Tigers finished fifth and were off the pace in contention for an individual state berth. It was a tough and abrupt finish for the Tigers, whose expectations were sky high which checked out of the season ranked No. 11 in the state through the regional round.
What’s more scary for opponents having to take on the Tigers next spring, the team is losing just one regular senior in Carlile, and the team itself has a strong JV program that often defeated its opponents by 30-plus strokes.