One thing was clear when speaking with Yorktown head coach Nathan McClung, he said he not only has a good group of golfers, but also a good group of kids.
“This is one of the most enjoyable teams I've ever coached, and last year was too,” McClung said. “But this group of guys, they're very different. But a lot of them are unique and some really special. They're phenomenal young men. So it's a privilege that they call me coach.”
That group of kids ended up winning sectionals at the Hickory Hills Golf Club with a score of 321, led by the sectional individual champion, Christian Groves.
The three teams making it out of sectionals were Yorktown, Delta and Winchester. Delta posted a second-place score of 328 total followed by a third-place Winchester score of 335.
Groves posted a 5-over-par score of 75 to pick up the championship. He was followed secondly by Marshall Johnston, who posted an 11-over-par 81.
Nate Mathews shot a 12-over-par 82 and Gabe Reedy posted a 13-over-par 83.
This is Groves second time winning the sectional title, his second in a row.
“I haven't really done too much to my swing,” Groves said. “It's just I feel a lot of trust in my abilities and I feel comfortable over pretty much every shot I have.”
McClung has seen a difference in Groves over this year in his improvement.
“He's just better,” McClung said. “He hits it so far. He's pretty unflappable out there today. He didn't have his best stuff today, I think he bogeyed four holes in a row on the back nine. But he's, he's just a stud.”
He also said Groves is creative in the way he thinks when he is out of position on the course. He was out of position on the 18th hole, hitting it right and having to take it over a group of trees. He ended up taking it over the trees just to the fringe of the green, a shot that sealed his sectional championship.
Delta was led by Jacob Bilby who ended up tied for third with three other golfers at a score of 10-over-par 80. Delta’s Cooper Bratton also posted a 10-over-par 80.
Jay Country golfer Caleb DeRome posted a second-best score of a 7-over-par 77, advancing to the regionals.
Winchester’s Bretton Basford and Gunnar Ludwick both posted a score of 10-over-par 80 to also be tied for third-best individually.
Wapahani’s Landon Rabenstein will also advance to the regional with his 11-over-par 81.
The regional will be played on Thursday, June 8, at The Players Club.
McClung said the last four holes at The Players Club are going to be the deciding factor on what teams make it to state.
“I think we've played in a lot of really difficult fields all year,” McClung said. “So we're hopeful that the experience down the stretch of the golf tournament the moment doesn't feel too big.”