A pair of individual state champions and a group of three-time title-winners headline The Wichita Eagle and Varsity Kansas annual All-Metro Boys Golf Team.
Here are the selections:
Jack Baker - Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Sr.
Baker entered the 2019 season as the most high-profile high school golfer in the Wichita area, but he said he didn’t meet his own expectations.
Baker came runner-up at Kapaun’s regional tournament, shooting an even-par 71 and falling to fellow All-Metro selection Cooper Schultz. A week later, Baker came in a tie for 19th with a 4-over 75. He was fourth on his own team.
That said, Baker was still one of the best players not only in the Wichita area but all of Kansas in 2019.
Baker was the No. 4 player in Class 5A and No. 11 among all classes with a 72.6-stroke average, the second-best average among All-Metro candidates. He won the City League title with an even-par 72.
Baker is heading to Kansas State on a golf scholarship after helping Kapaun to back-to-back top two team finishes at state.
“Getting to play against better competition, I think is awesome,” Baker said. “Playing on better and really cool courses, that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Matthew Schrock - Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Sr.
Schrock came to life in the final weeks of the 2019 season.
Outside of a rough regional tournament, Schrock had his top two scores of the season in the last three weeks. It started at the City League Championship.
To help Kapaun to a share of the City League title, Schrock shot a then-season-best 1-over 73. He was named to the City League first team, but he wasn’t done.
Two weeks later in Dodge City, Schrock came fifth at the Class 5A state tournament with a 1-under 70, winning his playoff against St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore Michael Winslow.
Schrock finished his season with a 75.6-stroke average. He was No. 10 in Class 5A and No. 7 among All-Metro candidates. Only Hesston’s Grant Brenneman had a better average and didn’t make the All-Metro lineup.
Schrock poured it on in his final few tournaments, knowing they were his last for the Crusaders.
“It was a great group with so much talent on the team, especially our five seniors,” he said. “It was so much fun, probably the best years of my life.”
Cooper Schultz - Andover Central, Jr.
Schultz is small, but his game is big.
Schultz stands about 5-foot-7 but has already racked up a pair of college scholarship offers, including one to Division I Louisville on Thursday. The 2019 All-Metro honor is already his second with a year to go before he leaves Andover Central.
Schultz had the lowest average in Class 5A at 70.9 strokes per 18 holes, the No. 2 mark among all players in Kansas behind only KU-bound Sion Audrain of Garden City.
Although Schultz showed his dominance as a junior, he came in a tie for seventh at the Class 5A state tournament with an even-par 71, after winning the Jaguars’ regional tournament with a 4-under 67. It was his best round of the season.
Schultz helped Andover Central to its third straight boys golf state championship in 2019 and will return next year with a chance at a career sweep.
“During the summer, I broke par a lot, and it kind of became an expectation,” Schultz said.
Tyler Trudo - Eisenhower, Sr.
After what he called a “disappointing” season, Trudo put the pieces together at his last high school tournament.
Shooting a 4-under 67 at Dodge City’s Mariah Hills, Trudo won the Class 5A individual championship. He beat Emporia junior Gentry Scheve in a playoff hole, but the theatrics came on the final scored hole.
Trudo said he knew he needed a birdie to force a playoff, and he holed out a chip to seal his first and only round under 70 of his senior season.
The state title came on the heels of a challenging regional tournament in which he shot a 76 and squeezed into the state tournament field.
Trudo finished with a 72.7-stroke average, good for the No. 5 spot in Class 5A and No. 11 in Kansas. He will head to Hutchinson Community College next year on a golf scholarship.
“Selfishly-sounding, (the championship round) really wasn’t too great,” he said. “Being even par on par fives just made me a little mad. It didn’t really piece together until the last two holes when I made birdie and then chipped in. After that, it was a really emotional thing. It was really special.”
Caden Vanlandingham - Trinity Academy, Sr.
Vanlandingham had come so close multiple times in multiple sports, and he broke through on his last shot.
After finishing third in Class 4A boys basketball, Vanlandingham led Trinity Academy to the 4A golf team title in Winfield with a 315-stroke team score. On top of it, he won the individual title, too, with a 2-over 73.
Vanlandingham was joined at the top with his senior teammate Sam Majors, who came runner-up with a 4-over 75. Vanlandingham said he coveted the team title above the individual one.
Trinity’s other two team scores came from sophomore Lucas Scheufler and junior Davis Swyers.
Vanlandingham finished the year with the No. 2 average in Class 4A at 75.2-stroke mark.
“It was a cool scene,” he said. “We were done with the eighth hole. I went over and hugged my mom, and she was crying. I went over and talked to coach, it was just a good moment.”
Peyton Wilson - Andover Central, Sr.
In Wilson’s four years at Andover Central, he became a three-time champion and a picture of consistency.
And 2019 was no different on the latter front, with Wilson averaging 74.4 strokes per round and not shooting above a 76 after the first tournament of the year. At state, Wilson finished in a tie for 11th with a 2-over 73, which was tied for his second-lowest score of the year.
Wilson’s average was No. 8 in Class 5A and No. 4 among All-Metro candidates.
Wilson has been a staple in Andover Central’s state championship teams and has been rewarded with a pair of All-Metro selections. The Eagle’s All-Metro boys golf team has only been around for two years.
Wilson said it has been an honor to give his individual talents for the team’s purpose.
“We developed and played better as the season progressed,” Wilson said. “It was cool to watch two guys: Davis (Joseph) played really good at regionals, and Austin (Goodrum) played really well at state. Them showing up was fun to see.”
Doug Snyder - Andover Central, Coach of the Year
Snyder has been around the Kansas golf scene for going on three decades, but he made history in 2019.
St. Thomas Aquinas entered the season on a three-year championship streak in Class 5A, and before the Saints took the crown, Kapaun held it. Between the two private school powers, the 5A title hadn’t been lost in nine years.
Andover Central’s first two titles during its three-year streak came in Class 4A. No team in Kansas history has won three straight while bumping up a classification, which Andover Central did in 2019.
The Jaguars finished with a 293-stroke team score, edging Aquinas by four strokes and Kapaun by five.
“It was a great bunch of guys,” Snyder said. “I just feel blessed to have coached them and been around them for the last couple of years. I had a really hard-working group of seniors, and that kind of trickled down.”