Blair Powers doesn’t see it as a sibling rivalry.
But her older brother, Blaine, says that their competitions are getting closer.
Perhaps, that is a reason the Mattoon High siblings each advanced to the state tournament, which is set to begin Friday.
This is another milestone for the twosome, who earned all-Apollo Conference honors a few weeks back – for the second straight season.
“It means a lot,” said Blaine. “It’s always great getting named all-Apollo, especially when your sister gets named too.”
Blaine, a senior, shot 82 at Mattoon Country Club to take ninth overall and help the MHS boys place second, finishing just two strokes behind Mahomet for the team title.
Blair, a sophomore, fired an 82 to finish second and lead the Green Wave to the Apollo team title at Charleston Country Club. She had also shot 1-under to lead MHS to the girls team title in the nine-team John Macek Invitational at the University of Illinois’s blue course a few days earlier.
Blair, though, downplayed any notion that the rivalry was in full effect when she placed higher.
“Honestly, I don’t consider it much of a rivalry,” said Blair. “We both have our good and bad days and that’s just part of the game of golf.”
However, Blaine has never lost that rivalry feeling and acknowledged that his sister has been starting to catch up with him.
“Yes, we have a rivalry,” said Blaine. “I have always had the advantage up until this year. She is starting to get better and compete with me.”
But that didn’t stop Blaine from checking in on his little sister during the Apollo Conference tournaments after the MHS boys lost its lead on the final three holes.
“He was still happy for me and our team,” said Blair. “It was a tough loss for them, but he always asks how our meets go and how I shoot, and I do the same.”
The rivalry also helped inspire Blair before Monday’s IHSA sectional held at Lincoln’s Elk Golf Club. She had not advanced to state a meet, whereas Blaine had qualified the year before. That, she said, gave her “something to shoot for.”
Blair responded by finishing sixth overall, shooting 85.
“I think it just shows that hard work can pay off,” Blair said.
Blaine tees off at 9:15 for Friday’s first-round, the final MHS player to head out on the front nine of the Wiebring Golf Course at the Class 2A IHSA state tournament.
Blair, meanwhile, starts her opening 18 holes at the Class 1A girls state tournament at 10:18 on Friday on the Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur.
Saturday’s tee times will be determined after the results for Round 1 have been compiled.