HASTINGS — The race for the Class B, District 3 team championship turned out to be a three-team race Monday at Southern Hills Golf Course.
On this day, it was the home team that came out on top.
Adams Central didn’t have any individuals in the top five, but did have three in the top 10 as the Patriots shot 313 as a team to claim the district title. Aurora was two shots back at 315 while York shot 317.
The top three teams and the top 10 individuals qualify for the state meet May 22-23 at Meadowlark Golf Course in Kearney.
Adams Central coach Don Lyons said relaxing was a key for the Patriots.
“We talk a lot about that to play your best golf, you have to be relaxed and have fun out there,” Lyons said. “That’s what I tried to stress to these kids. Obviously the more pressure you put on yourself, the harder it is to play well. I know for a fact you have to be relaxed and have fun. I could see it today. The guys had smiles on their faces.”
Aurora’s Mitchell Oswald took the individual title with a 71, four strokes ahead of York’s Leighton Thomas and Toby Lewis at 75.
Brady Barrett led Adams Central with a 77 for sixth place. Zach Bramble was seventh (78) and Kevin Hohlen ninth (78).
Lyons said it certainly didn‘t hurt that his team was playing on its home course.
“These guys have been logging in tons of holes,” Lyons said. “I’m sure on Sundays, they’re playing at least 54 holes a day. A lot of times I was going, ‘You guys need to go home. You need to shut it down a little bit and take it easy.’
I was a little afraid they might have dead legs or something today because they’ve been logging a ton of holes. Obviously they had enough energy to get around here and win that district championship.”
Aurora was coming off a team title against Class A competition Friday at the Grand Island Invitational. The Huskies didn’t shoot as well as a team Monday, but Oswald was red hot.
The senior had two bogeys, a birdie and chipped in from 40 feet on the 14th hole for an eagle to finish at one-under-par.
“After I hit it, I was watching it and it looked really good,” Oswald said of the eagle. “It turned out it dropped.”
But Oswald and the Huskies were disappointed that they didn‘t capture a team title.
“Our goal was to win every meet,” Oswald said. “We ended up a little short this year. We wanted to come out here and make a good showing. We did OK. We didn’t do the best we could.”
Once again, the key for the Huskies was balance. Oswald had the team‘s high score on Friday, but came back strong on Monday, as did Connor Strong who finished 10th with a 78 at the district meet.
“That’s the thing that’s really been a plus for us all year is we’ve had pretty good balance,” Aurora coach Dick Binfield said. “We had two kids who didn’t shoot really well last week at that invite that came to the forefront today. We’re just glad we could qualify. That was the goal. York played well and give credit to Adams Central. They played well.”
Northwest coach Scott Galusha thought his team had a chance to qualify for state, but things didn’t go well for the Vikings. Northwest finished tied for fifth with a 348.
Casey Miller and Jordan Olsen shot 85, Zach Rouzee 87, Evan Swartzbaugh 91 and Kyle Placke 92
“We probably just tried a little bit too hard today,” Galusha said. “Our goal was to get here and have a shot. We were there. I thought we’d be in the conversation. It just didn’t work out that way, but the kids worked really hard. We accomplished a lot. We all got better. We shot our two best scores at the end and won the Grand Island Cup. That was something we wanted to do.
“Four of our five kids just didn’t play well today.”
Class B, District 3
At Southern Hills GC, Hastings
(Top 3 qualify)
Adams Central 313, Aurora 315, York 317, Minden 345, Crete 348, Northwest 348, Columbus Scotus 353, Seward 359, Columbus Lakeview 371, Fairbury 375, Central City 388, Schuyler, 399.
Individual State Qualifiers
1. Mitchell Oswald, Aurora, 71; 2. Leighton Thomas, York, 75; 3. Toby Lewis, York, 75; 4. Ian McGowan, Crete, 76; 5. Samuel Morse, Columbus Lakeview, 77; 6. Brady Barrett, Adams Central 12 77; 7. Jonas Christensen, York, 77; 8. Zach Bramble, Adams Central, 78; 9. Kevin Hohlen, Adams Central, 78; 10. Connor Strong, Aurora, 78.