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Wheaton Academy's Gryfinski keeps teammates calm during run to 2A Boys Golf State Tournament

Wheaton Academy golfer Danny Gryfinski practices his chipping Wednesday at Pheasant Run Golf Club in St. Charles. Wheaton Academy will be competing as a team at this weekend's state meet in Normal.
Wheaton Academy golfer Danny Gryfinski practices his chipping Wednesday at Pheasant Run Golf Club in St. Charles. Wheaton Academy will be competing as a team at this weekend's state meet in Normal.

Danny Gryfinski and his Wheaton Academy boys golf teammates breezed through one final practice at Pheasant Run before this weekend’s trip to the IHSA Class 2A state meet.

The Warriors expect less wind at Illinois State’s Weibring Golf Club on Friday and Saturday than what they encountered Wednesday. Should that change, senior Danny Gryfinski will settle the team down with a few words.

A senior from St. Charles, Gryfinski has been more verbal when he’s had to, adjusting to the situation. Being a team leader means being flexible, though at this time of year, Gryfinski finds his message to be oddly simple.

“There’s nothing more that you can really do with your swing or change,” he said. “It’s just being confident and hitting those shots that you know you’re going to be able to hit down there.”

Wherever they went this season, the Warriors brought a similar mindset. Wheaton Academy completed a perfect run through Suburban Christian Conference duals, and Gryfinski had an impact on each of its victories.

In what was arguably the team’s biggest SCC win, Gryfinski tied freshman Grant Gosden with a 40 at St. Charles Country Club, finishing two strokes behind sophomore Zack Spear to help the Warriors defeat defending 2A runner-up Marmion last month.

As usual, a steady beginning propelled Gryfinski to a consistent round.

“If I get off to a good start and get some pars under my belt, I feel pretty confident with my game,” he said. “I feel the start is very crucial, that if I get off to that good start, I’m probably going to shoot well.”

Gryfinski played at Weibring during a summer event and shot in the low 80s. He hopes that experience aides a young but budding team.

While Gryfinski was not part of the Warriors’ 2009 2A state championship team, he and classmate Kenneth Mill at least were in the program as freshmen.

Bob Broman coached the team then, but passed the torch to his son, Scott, before the season, taking new employment in the missions industry in Kansas City, Mo.

A 2003 Wheaton Academy graduate, Scott Broman golfed for the Warriors and was pleasantly surprised when his dad showed up at Monday’s Belvidere North Sectional. Bob Broman commutes to Kansas City from Wheaton each week, so venturing to Timberpointe Golf Course in Poplar Grove was no great endeavor.

“I snuck out [Monday] afternoon,” Bob Broman said. “I couldn’t stand it any longer.”

Gryfinski navigated four double bogeys and one 8 to help Wheaton Academy to a second-place team finish on a day when winds whipped at around 30 mph.

Helping the rest of the Warriors realize they weren’t the only ones fighting the elements – and frustratingly high scores – enabled the team to find much-needed perspective. When he got home, Gryfinski checked up on an ally who’d been playing a few miles southeast.

St. Charles North senior Dan Shepherd, Gryfinski’s neighbor and occasional playing partner, advanced from the 3A St Charles East Sectional at St. Andrews to the state meet at Bloomington’s The Den at Fox Creek.

Gryfinski’s older brother, Bobby, scored for a pair of Warriors fifth-place state teams in 2005 (Class A) and 2007 (Class 2A). Labeled by Scott Broman as a “very outgoing guy,” Danny Gryfinski is eager to continue the legacy as both a player and motivator.

The starting point: Keep it simple.

“That’s all it is. Just to be confident That’s all golf is,” Gryfinski said. “I’ve swung a club a million times and hit a ball a million times. You’ve just got to know you’re comfortable doing it.”

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