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Daily Journal
     August 28, 2020      #74-241 KDJ

BOYS GOLF: Watseka sneaks past Milford, Donovan to

By Cody Smith

Wednesday’s boys golf matchup between Donovan, Milford and Watseka came down to the final threesome at Shewami Country Club golf course.

Milford sophomore Payton Harwood needed to card at least a 46 to tie Watseka, but he ultimately scored a 54, giving the Warriors their 13th win of the season.

Watseka edged out the Bearcats by five strokes, thanks to Zachary Hickman, who shot the lowest-round of the day after sinking six pars. Hickman carded a 40, five over par, to beat Milford golfer C.J. VanHoveln by one stroke to earn his first medalist honor of the season.

“I had a pretty good day and pared pretty much every hole but three,” Hickman said. “So, I was pretty proud of that. I set my goal to beat Watseka’s Jordan Schroeder. He’s a good golfer, and I knew it would be hard, but I kept working at it and finally got there.”

Team scores for the day were Watseka 175, Milford 180 and Donovan 199.

All four Warriors golfers shot 50 or better, with Hickman leading the way.

Schroeder continued his hot start to the season by finishing with another low-round of 42. Adam Norder followed with a 43, and Ty Berry rounded out the top four with a 50. Watseka improved to 13-3 on the year.

“We needed this; we had been struggling a little bit,” said Watseka coach Darin Hartman. “Last night was a tough night for us down at Harrison Park at Danville. We had some high scores, so to come and shoot like we did tonight was much much better.”

Hartman believed coming back to the Warriors’ home course helped his guys get back on track.

“There’s still work to do, but we were much better tonight,” Hartman said. “Golfing at home can sometimes cure your ailments.”

Bearcats head coach Josh DeBolt was proud of his guys for shooting a new team low for the season.

“We didn’t take the top spot, but this is our team-low score for the season so far,” DeBolt said. “So, I was happy to see that. Guys that I expected to be playing well really showed up today.”

VanHoveln posted a 41 to lead the Bearcats with teammate Luke McCabe following closely behind with a 42. Salym Estes shot a 46, and Cooper Frerichs added a 51 to round out Milford’s top finishers.

DeBolt is in his first year as the head coach, so he was just happy to see his kids shoot well.

“Personally, as long as I don’t make any major mistakes or errors and the kids have a lot of fun, I will feel like we had a successful season.”

The loss dropped Milford to 7-6 on the season.

Donovan coach Kevin Venner was happy to see his kids continue to improve week by week.

“Everybody shot their personal best today,” Venner said. “And I can say we went from a 244 a week ago to 199, so that’s definitely an improvement. I think we will only get better as we progress and play more often.”

The Wildcats’ leading scorer was Dalton Anderson, who shot a 47. Brodie Winge finished right behind with a 48, and Caleb Klecan totaled a 51. Both Westin Lareau and Andy Onnen each carded 53s to round out Donovan’s top shooters.

“For the second match of the year, I’m very pleased with our efforts,” Venner said. “We improved by 45 strokes, and that itself is an improvement.”

Donovan fell to 1-5 on the season but will look to continue development.


Watseka and Milford face off again at Shewami Country Club at 4 p.m. Sept. 1, with the addition of Dwight.

The Wildcats face Momence at 4:15 p.m. today at Shewami.

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