St. Thomas Aquinas has won the past three Kansas Class 5A boys golf state championships, and if Monday was an indication, there won’t be a fourth.
Andover Central, in its first year rising up to 5A, won its regional tournament by 12 strokes at Rolling Hills over the second strongest field in the entire state.
The Jaguars’ top four finishers combined for 294 strokes, the second lowest regional score among all classifications behind only 6A’s Blue Valley Northwest at 290. Andover Central’s score included regional champion, junior Cooper Schultz who shot a 4-under, 67. Schultz said it’s what the Jaguars do.
“It’s nothing new,” he said. “We’ve done it all season long. We’re feeling pretty confident out here. We all just went out there and played our game, and hopefully we can keep that going into state.”
In the Northeast Kansas, Aquinas finished second at its regional tournament to Blue Valley Southwest. The Saints had the regional champion, sophomore Michael Winslow at 2-under, 70, but they totaled 325 strokes. They were 18 strokes off the title.
Andover Central is gelling at the right time with the state tournament a week away in Dodge City. Monday, senior Davis Joseph shot a career low 3-over, 74 and finished fourth. He said he has learned you can be among the best on the course one day and fall off the next.
“No matter how big of a school you go to or who you are playing with, you have to go out and perform,” he said. “I think if we came into today not feeling pressure, we might have paid the price.”
Andover Central’s regional field included last year’s 5A runner-up Kapaun Mt. Carmel and co-City League champion Bishop Carroll. Eisenhower and crosstown rival Andover were there, too.
Under the present postseason format, only the top three teams qualify for state and the top five individuals outside of those qualifying teams. Eisenhower finished fourth at 317 strokes, which ranked sixth among all Class 5A regional teams and would have won the 5A regional at Hays’ Smoky Hill Country Club.
Through the front nine, Bishop Carroll sat fourth and six shots behind Eisenhower in third. The Golden Eagles tore the back to shreds to not only qualify but finish runners-up at 306 strokes.
“We knew going into it that it was going to be a dog fight,” coach Mark Berger said. “You can’t just rely on everyone else to play bad. If you want to get it done, you have to do it yourselves.”
Berger said for as well as his group played Monday, it was still 12 strokes short. If Andover Central is going to continue playing as it did in the regional, no one else can win, Berger said.
The Jaguars are the two-time defending Class 4A champions. Although there will be a new 4A title-winner in 2019, the crown is likely to stay in the Wichita area.
Trinity Academy and Andale won their 4A regionals. Trinity had the lowest score of any 4A team at 317 strokes, and Andale was just behind at 323.
Together, they had 10 top 10 finishers at the two regional tournaments.
But Monday was about Andover Central. The Jaguars will look to become the first team since Collegiate in 2013 to win three straight title while bumping up a class and the first ever to do it in 5A.
“They all knew they were going to have to play good today,” coach Doug Snyder said. “Winning it is great, but it’s survive and advance at this point. To get to go next week was the goal. To win it is icing on the cake.”
Class 6A - Tex Consolver
Garden City, 319 *Qualified for state
Dodge City, 350 *Qualified for state
Derby, 372 *Qualified for state
Wichita East, 437
Wichita West, 531
Wichita North, 564
Sion Audrain, Garden City, Sr., -2, 70
Davan Smith, Dodge City, So., +8, 80
Theodore Juhl, Garden City, Fr., +8, 80
Cooper Scheck, Dodge City, Fr., +11, 83
Mason Shaddix, Garden City, Sr., +12, 84
Noah Ortiz, Garden City, Jr., +13, 85
Jessie Cornwell, Derby, Sr., +13, 85
Jarett Reid Richmeier, Garden City, Jr., +13, 85
Cayden Cundiff, Garden City, So., +15, 87
Cole Francis, Derby, Sr., +15, 87
Class 5A - Rolling Hills
Andover Central, 294 *Qualified for state
Bishop Carroll, 306 *Qualified for state
Kapaun Mt. Carmel, 307 *Qualified for state
Wichita Northwest, 368
Cooper Schultz, Andover Central, Jr., -4, 67
Jack Baker, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Sr., E, 71
Cooper Steiner, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Sr., +3, 74
Davis Joseph, Andover Central, +3, 74
Grant Gooch, Bishop Carroll, Sr., +4, 75
Preston Howell, Andover, Jr., +4, 75
Tyler Gatley, Bishop Carroll, Sr., +5, 76
Peyton Wilson, Andover Central, +5, 76
Tyler Trudo, Eisenhower, +5, 76
Mateo Villegas, Eisenhower, +5, 76
Class 5A - Smoky Hill
Hays, 324 *Qualified for state
Maize South, 330 *Qualified for state
Great Bend, 355 *Qualified for state
Wichita Heights, 367
Valley Center, 465
Tradgon McCrae, Hays, Sr., +4, 75
Joshua Norris, Hays, Sr., +7, 78
Layton Love, Maize South, Fr., +9, 80
Zachary Engelken, Newton, Jr., +9, 80
Cole Streck, Great Bend, So., +9, 80
Kyle Kasitz, Maize South, Fr., +10, 81
Jason Krannawitter, Hays, So., +10, 81
Jared Murphy, Maize, +12, 83
Adam Kasitz, Maize South, Jr., +13, 84
Taben Armstrong, Miaze South, Fr., +14, 85
Class 4A - Hesston Golf Course
Zachary Vandervoort, Pratt, Fr., +3, 74
Trevor Black, Andale, Jr., +6, 77
Austin Perez, Ulysses, Jr., +6, 77
Cooper Foltz, Wamego, Jr., +10, 81
Matt Voth, Buhler, Jr., +10, 81
Trace Niemann, Andale, Jr., +10, 81
Justin Deters, Abilene, Sr., +10, 81
Will Yates, Buhler, So., +11, 82
Cayden Albers, Andale, Sr., +11, 82
Colby Eck, Andale, Jr., +12, 83
Trenton Matney, Buhler, Jr., +12, 83
Class 4A - Tallgrass
Trinity Academy, 317 *Qualified for state
Wellington, 350 *Qualified for state
Augusta, 382 *Qualified for state
Rose Hill, 430
El Dorado, 489
Blake Saffell, Wellington, So., +5, 76
Caden Vanlandingham, Trinity Academy, Sr., +5, 76
Stephen Radley, Trinity Academy, Sr., +8, 79
Sam Majors, Trinity Academy, Sr., +9, 80
Lucas Scheufler, Trinity Academy, So., +11, 82
Maxwell Hanson, Circle, Sr., +14, 85
Derek Heuer, Trinity Academy, Sr., +14, 85
Kyle Bovee, Circle, Sr., +15, 86
Davis Swyers, Trinity Academy, Jr., +15, 86
Chadd Brown, Augusta, Fr., +16, 87
Jacob George, Winfield, So., +16, 87
Class 3A - Cherry Oaks
Hesston, 326 *Qualified for state
Cheney, 343 *Qualified for state
Collegiate, 360 *Qualified for state
Grant Brenneman, Hesston, Sr., +5, 77
Dylan Reund, Cheney, Sr., +8, 80
Eli Graham, Collegiate, Jr., +8, 80
Harrison Middleton, Fr., +11, 83
Lucas Roth, Hesston, So., +11, 83
Connor Stephenson, Cheney, Sr., +12, 84
Landon Spencer, Hesston, Jr., +11, 84
Zachary Burgess, Collegiate, So., +14, 86
Jace Watkins, Burlington, Sr., +15, 87
Jace Regier, Hesston, Fr., +15, 87