By Kyle Daubs
Mattoon and Charleston boys golf tee off their seasons Thursday, while the Lady Trojans look to continue their stellar start to the season that already includes a second-place finish in the CHS Scramble.
Previews for upcoming match-ups are offered below.
CHS Girls Golf @ South Side Country Club (Wednesday)
The Lady Trojans look to build from taking second at the Charleston Scramble. Hannah Harpster and Taryn Pearson combined to finish with a third-place finish (35), while Stacy Zerbst and Malia Hodge shot 3-over 38 at the Charleston Country Club. Today, Charleston’s foes will include Mt. Zion and Taylorville.
Mt. Zion lost its top three scorers from last year’s sectional qualifying team. The Braves finished 36 strokes behind the regional-winning Trojans last year. However, the team’s Nos. 4-6 golfers return. Lauren Kyburz, Bethany Warner, and Kenzie Shumate will lead this year’s squad.
Taylorville finished last in the regional and did not send any golfers to the sectional.
MHS Boys Golf @ Lincoln Scramble (Thursday)
The Bill Behrends-era opens at the Lincoln Scramble at Lincoln Elks Golf Course. In the past, the scramble fielded 18 teams, but that number will be significantly lower because of health risks associated with COVID. Mattoon will be joined by Mt. Zion and Taylorville.
Mount Zion placed eighth at the Mattoon Regional last year while senior Cole Purdeu advanced as an individual.
Taylorville nearly made the sectional as a team, placing fourth in the Taylorville Regional. The team featured a young core of three individuals who advanced to sectional competition. Juniors Briar Dempsey and Ryan Johnson, as well as senior Gavin Craggs, should be the top golfers this season.
Lincoln lost two seniors from a sectional qualifying team. However, seniors Dylan Singleton, Lucas Konczyk, Adam Dean, and Patrick McCraith return.
CHS Boys Golf vs. St. Anthony (Thursday)
The Trojans play host to the IHSA Class 1A Regional Champion, which placed sixth in sectional competition. The team has lost state qualifier Jayden Rios to graduation. In all, three seniors graduated. However, the Bulldogs return three solid players – sophomore Jonathan Willenborg challenged Rios as the No. 1 golfer last year and sophomore teammate, Michael Martelli was consistently among the team’s top three scorers. Junior Thomas Chojnicki will likely move up into the top three for scoring.