ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles East boys golf team served notice Tuesday that it’s not about to surrender its quest to repeat as Upstate Eight Conference River Division champions.
Led by Max Kelly’s 37 over nine holes, the Saints (4-3 overall, 4-1 UEC River) edged Geneva at Royal Fox Country Club, 159-163.
“I missed a couple putts, but other than that, I played pretty well,” Kelly said. “I hit the ball well, and I was pretty happy with it.”
Kelly didn’t start out well, bogeying the third and fourth holes, but he bounced back on No. 5, sinking a long birdie putt.
“It was a left-to-righter, uphill, 25 feet,” he said. “That was a good putt. One of my only good putts on the day, so that felt good.”
“Good for Max,” East coach John Stock added. “He came out today as the captain and leader is supposed to do and shot 2-over.”
Kelly was the meet medalist, edging Geneva’s Pat Cuscaden by one stroke.
“It felt really good because it’s the last [dual] match of my senior year,” Cuscaden said. “It’s the last match ever for my high school career and it just felt good to go out with a good score. I just went out there thinking, ‘This is my last match. Make every swing count.’ ”
Unfortunately for the Vikings (7-2, 3-2), the rest of the team wasn’t able to duplicate Cuscaden’s success. Brett Hassels and Dan Cisco both finished with respectable 40s, but Geneva also had to count a 45.
“You can’t take a 45 in a match and win it,” Geneva coach Bill Koehn said matter-of-factly.
Luke Molloy carded a 40 for the Saints, who had four golfers come in at 41 – Kyle Jacobs, Connor McCadam, Keone Derain and James Thompson.
The Saints have another key conference meet with crosstown rival St. Charles North today. Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley also will be competing at White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville.
“We’ve got a big match [today] with the North Stars,” Stock said. “We’re playing at White Eagle, which is a difficult course. We haven’t played there in probably seven or eight years, the last time Neuqua hosted. Neuqua’s got a good team; Waubonsie’s got a good team, so it will be a good quadrangular.”