Other Varsity Sports

Auer, Cantele give Kapaun repeat chance at state golf

For about five minutes, Kapaun Mount Carmel senior golfers David Auer and Jack Cantele go back and forth about which school is better: Kansas or Kansas State.

Auer, a Jayhawk fan who will be playing golf next year at KU, brings up the Jayhawks' 25-year run of near domination over the Wildcats in basketball.

An avid K-State fan, Cantele, who will be kicking for Bill Snyder next year, points out how the Wildcats have owned KU in football in recent memory.

While both are as talented as any other high school golfer in the state, it's their competitive drive that fuels them.

"There aren't two more competitive people than David and I," Cantele said. "If one of us loses at anything, then he won't speak to the other for 30 minutes. We take that competitiveness to the course."

Auer and Cantele have been best friends since kindergarten and have played nearly every sport together. But they saved their proudest moment for last year, when they led the Crusaders to their first Class 5A title since 2004.

Kapaun is the favorite to repeat as state champion Monday at Sand Creek Station in Newton.

"We had the talent when we were freshmen, but played awful and again we had talent as sophomores and came real close," Auer said. "All the pieces finally fell into place last year and we finally reached our potential."

According to Kapaun golf coach Dan Phillips, both Auer and Cantele are the unquestioned leaders of the team and they each have ways of leading. Auer is more of the outspoken leader, while Cantele quietly goes about his business, leading more by example.

"They both have ways of leading the team and both ways work," Phillips said. "But both have led by their play on the course."

Cantele loves golf and he said he will miss it next year when he moves on to football. But he wanted to make sure that he would always love the game, so that's why he chose to turn down golf scholarship offers.

"I have always loved golf," Cantele said. "And I always want to, so I don't want to get burned out by playing in college."

Auer, on the other hand, hopes for a future in golf and thinks that playing for KU is just another chapter in his golf book.

"Being at KU and playing golf will be a great learning experience," Auer said. "I can't wait to get there."

Replacing one would have been hard enough for Phillips, but replacing both is impossible.

"This is my third year and Jack and David have been the face of Kapaun golf since I've been here," Phillips said. "They both have really represented the school well and it will be tough to see them go."


State golf

When: Monday

Where: Class 6A at Reflection Ridge, 5A at Sand Creek Station, Newton; 4A at Prairie Dunes, Hutchinson; 3A at Salina Municipal; 2A at Buffalo Dunes, Garden City; 1A at Emporia Municipal, sand greens at Lakeside, Yates Center