Illinois Route 51 figures to be a familiar layout for Burlington Central boys and girls golf coach Deb Twenhafel this weekend.
The road that is as straightforward as an easy par-4 connects the greater Bloomington-Normal and Decatur areas, where the Rockets have separate individual entries in the Class 2A boys and Class AA girls state meets on Friday and Saturday.
Twenhafel and assistant Tom Davies plan to follow Andrew Sherman at Normal’s Weibring Golf Club and Jenna Kurosky at Forsyth’s Hickory Point Golf Club on alternating days, meaning the coaches will see more of their windshields than each other.
“Splitting it up seems to be the most fair,” Twenhafel said. “We figured out that would be the best way to do it.”
The lone coach in program history, Twenhafel took a similar path with then-assistant Jim Rolando when BC qualified a boy and girl each in the early 1990s.
It takes about 45 minutes to travel south from Bloomington-Normal to Decatur.
Although her voice carries a bit more twang, Twenhafel still is sure Sherman and Kurosky will hear the same kind of support from Davies, in his third season with the program. That puts Twenhafel – set to retire from teaching and coaching after 35 years after the 2014-15 school year – especially at ease.
“I’m very pleased to have a coach like Davies,” Twenhafel said. “It’s nice to find a coach who isn’t about themselves, like, ‘The kids made it because of me.’ I’m the same way; whatever the kids have done, they made it because of them. I’m the psychological supporter and cheerleader for the boys and girls. I’m there to be their supporter. That’s pretty much what my philosophy has been.”
Royal at Red Tail: Unlike Twenhafel, commuting won’t be on Rosary coach Paul Iwanski’s weekend agenda.
The St. Charles resident regrettably will be unable to attend the Class A state meet at Red Tail Run in Decatur as junior Victoria Phipps represents the Royals downstate.
Rosary’s top player throughout the season, Phipps averaged 46 for nine holes.
“Victoria’s an all-around good player, and I’m expecting her back next year, as a senior, to continue her success at Rosary,” Iwanski said.
A Royals golfing legacy, Phipps is the younger sister of Rachel Phipps, who now golfs for North Central College. Sarah Phipps is an emerging Rosary underclassman Iwanski hopes “will carry on the Phipps family golfing tradition at Rosary.”
Pride of St. Charles: Seniors and frequent playing partners Paige Jordan (St. Charles East) and Ariana Furrie (St. Charles North) are set too tee off together again at Hickory Point.
Both players are slated for Friday’s 9:42 a.m. foursome that begins at the No. 10 hole.
Furrie finished tied for 15th at last season’s state meet, shooting 18-over par over 72 holes. Jordan tied for 27th, two strokes behind.