Rolla and St. James each had representatives at the State Golf Meets on Monday and Tuesday, May 14-15.
Matt Drallmeier represented Rolla for the second straight year at Swope Memorial Golf Course in Kansas City, while Isaac Helterbrand made his first State appearance at Meadow Lake Acres Country Club in New Bloomfield.
Drallmeier had an excellent showing at the State Meet, improving on last year's finish by 13 strokes. Last season, Drallmeier finished in a tie for 60th, but he was able to skyrocket up to 28th this season with a two-day score of 155. The Rolla Bulldog golfer shot a solid 79 on his first round, but took his game up a notch on day two, cutting three strokes to shoot a 76 on the par-72 course.
"Matt shot two great scores when he did not have his best. The reason he tied for 28th in the state is that of his physical and mental preparation. His work ethic and commitment are incredible and commendable," said Rolla head coach Zack Nixon. "Throughout the tournament, Matt had fun, which is nothing to scoff at. Usually, when players get more serious about golf and the stakes are raised, their reactions tend to get more exaggerated and they become angrier at bad shots. I have seen it happen for years at smaller tournaments but especially at the State Tournament.
"Matt hit great shots, good shots and some poor shots, but no matter what he hit, nothing changed his demeanor," continued Nixon. "He focused in on every shot, giving it 100 percent, analyzed the results and went back to having fun at the State Tournament. Sports should be fun and Matt had a great time. He was not only a role model to others by displaying great golf skills, but he was a model for how to act with his excellent attitude."
Helterbrand had a different experience as he got used to playing State-level golf for the first time. The junior came out of the gates a little shaky by shooting a 108 on the first day, but he turned things around on day two to improve by 10 strokes with a 98. St. James head coach Kevin Conway was proud of Helterbrand's ability to settle down and improve on day two.
"Isaac had a rough first day. His drives where good, but he struggled with his short game. After the first day we had two goals for day two: improve his score and have a better score than the players in his group," said Conway. "He achieved both those goals! On the second day, it started like the first day, but he settled down and played much better on the back nine and shot a 46....Isaac showed a lot of composure after not shooting very good on the first day and coming back on the second day to improve by 10 strokes."
Coach Conway is excited to see what kind of strides Helterbrand will be able to make as he prepares to make another run as a senior.
"We discussed setting goals for this summer and one of those goals is to show improvement and consistency in his short game," said the St. James head coach. "He showed the ability to shoot better scores, but it's going to take practice. I was proud of him for coming out the second day and shooting a better score. Isaac is showing his maturity by knowing what parts of his game he needs to work on for next year."