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Kahok Golf Finishes Regular Season

By Mark Jurgena

The Collinsville girls golf team only played once competitively last week finishing in 6th place in the 12-team O’Fallon Invitational last Tuesday.

CHS finished five strokes behind Alton and two shots ahead of Belleville West after firing a 368 at the Tamarack Golf Club in Shiloh.

Kahok Abby Fister shot an 85 to tie Natalie Messinger of Alton for 12th place while Maya Clark tied for 14th place with Calli Smith of Waterloo. Both shot an 86.

Fister birdied the par five 4th and 12th holes.

“Abby Fister with an 85, that’s a real solid round,” said coach Steve Schneider. “I think she’s building her confidence. We’ve always known she has the ability to score in the 80s. We’re really proud of her and what she’s accomplished.”

Ricki Merlak fired a 94 to finish in 32nd place.

Kiley Belobraydic finished 52nd with a 103. Carstyn Jones shot a 105 for 58th place and  Anna Belobraydic shot a 111.

Nicole Johnson of Edwardsville and Sophia Flores of Mascoutah each finished with a one over 73 on the day to share the tournament title

O’Fallon won the event shooting a 314 as a team.

The girls golf team got their regional assignment late Friday from the IHSA. After not being able to compete with anyone outside of their COVID region all year, they have been assigned to the Class 2A regional at Marion’s Kokopelli Golf Club. In fact all the Southwestern Conference schools along with Triad, Granite City and Mascoutah are leaving the Metro East region for the long trek to Williamson County.

Mt. Vernon and the host school are the only non Metro East schools at the meet.

The regional will be held Wednesday.

Last Monday the Collinsville boys golf team finished a single stroke behind Granite City in a dual meet at The Legacy Golf Course in Granite.

CHS shot a 179 over the nine holes.

Ryker Cain and Connor Zika led the way for the Kahoks both shooting a 44 for the afternoon.

Leighton Morris shot a 45 while Jack Geisen finished just behind with a 46.

“To lose that by one stroke was great and it wasn’t even one of our better scores,” said coach Colin Moore. “But the kids had a great time with it because we were in competition with them the whole time. They knew it was close and they were getting into it.”

Last weekend they competed in the two-day Dick Gerber Invitational in Edwardsville.

The Kahoks totaled a 747 for the two days finishing ten strokes behind Belleville West for the 13th spot in the standings.

“We played okay at Oak Brook, we did not play good at Fox Creek on Saturday,” said Moore. “We had some scores in the 80s and then followed that up at Fox Creek the next day and didn’t have anything in the 80s. Fox Creek is a rather difficult golf course.”

Cain was the top finisher for CHS finishing in 51st place. He shot an 87 the first day at Oak Brook and a 97 on day two at the Fox Creek course.

Geisen came in one shot behind tied for 52nd place with Riley Knobloch of Father McGivney. Geisen shot an 88 and a 96.

Landon Fluss tied for 58th place. He lowered his day one total by seven strokes to tie Luke Joergens of Columbia.

Fluss was only one of twelve golfers in the 85 player event to lower his score from day one to day two.

Connor Zika and Leighton Morris finished in 76th and 77th place. Zika shot a 199 and Morris had a 200.

Luke Weller shave 14 strokes off his day one total to be another of the twelve to lower their day one total.

“I was real proud of my kids on Friday though,” Moore said. “There was a lot of rules issues at Oak Brook and Ryker stepped up and took charge of his group and was able to know some of the golf rules. For somebody only playing a year and knowing some of the rules…it just shows he’s been paying attention and bought into what’s going on. He’s definitely been a great influence on everybody else. We appreciate having him around.”

The meet was dominated by small school powers.

Defending IHSA Class 1A state champion Breese (Mater Dei) shot a 625 to take the title by 13 shots over Belleville (Althoff).

O’Fallon and Edwardsville finished third and fourth respectively.

Individually, freshman Joey Hyten of Father McGivney knocked seven strokes off his score from day one and ended up shooting an even par 144 for the event. He edged O’Fallon’s Caden Cannon by one shot.

The CHS team got their regional assignment late Friday from the IHSA. They have been assigned to the Class 3A regional at Oak Brook Golf Club in Edwardsville. The tournament will consist of all the Southwestern Conference schools along with Granite City. Also joining the regional field will be non metro area school Quincy.

The regional will be held Tuesday.

Last week the IHSA announced they would be adding a level of postseason play for the COVID ravaged fall season. The state brought back sectional level competition. The host schools for that competition had not been announced as of press time.

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