The Rolla and St. James golf teams took part in their respective District tournaments on Monday, April 30. Rolla traveled to Camdenton and sent all five of their golfers to Sectionals, while St. James sent three from their District in Mountain Grove.
Rolla placed third as a team, just missing out on qualifying as a unit. Despite technically not qualifying as a team, all five Bulldogs that took part in Districts will be headed to Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield for Sectionals next week.
Matt Drallmeier led the charge for Rolla, shooting a six-over-par 78. His 78 was the second lowest score shot on the day, as three people shot +5 and three other golfers matched his +6 score. Jeriah Jordan was a couple strokes behind with a score of 81, earning All-District honors by tying for 10th.
Evan Moore and Jack Gesualdi then finished back to back with scores of 88 and 89, finishing in a tie for 16th and 17th, respectively. Cameron Copeland rounded things out with a +21 93. The cutoff for making Sectionals was set at +22.
As a team, Rolla had a score of 336, missing out on qualifying as a team by 10 strokes. Glendale won with a team score of 311, while Lebanon took second with a score of 326.
"The team has made incredible strides this year. At the beginning of the year, we made a team goal to make it to State. I know the team thought it would be remarkable, but I’m not sure if they believed it," said head coach Zack Nixon. "As the year has progressed, I have noticed a change in the team's demeanor. With each passing tournament, they know they can compete with anyone in our District and Sectional as our confidence and self-belief increases.
We have yet to have a great tournament this year. However, I believe it is just around the corner," continued Nixon. "We have to commit to our mental and physical processes and be dedicated to our practices this week in preparation for Monday. Outside of the performance aspects of the team, I couldn’t be more satisfied with the teams on course behavior. They represent Rolla well and are role models for those around them. They are helpful and friendly while being fiercely competitive."
St. James also had a stellar day on the course when they traveled to Mountain Grove for their District. The Tigers nearly advanced to Sectionals as a team, but lost in a playoff. They finished in a tie for second with Cuba and the tiebreaker was determined by the score of each team's fifth golfer. Cuba had the lower score from their number five, so they advanced as a team.
St. James was able to finish in that tie for second thanks to some stellar rounds, particularly from their top three. Payton Engelbrecht was the low scorer for St. James with a 99. That score gave her an 11th place finish to earn All-District honors. Isaac Helterbrand also earned All-District honors for St. James, finishing his round three strokes behind Engelbrecht with a score of 102. The cutoff for All-District was set at 103. Garrick Lonning was the final Tiger to qualify, finishing in a 20th place with a score of 106.
Hannah Shasserre nearly qualified for St. James, but fell one stroke short. The final individual qualfier was Ava's Drew Adams, who shot a 112. Shasserre's day ended with a score of 113. Max Nappier rounded things out for St. James by shooting 133.
"I'm proud of the way my team came out, ready to play, but we just didn't finish," said head coach Kevin Conway. "We put ourselves in a spot to take second, but Cuba's last golfer came in to tie us and we lost on a fifth score playoff, so if anyone would've had a lower score on any hole, we would've gotten out as a team.
"I'm proud of all of my team for never giving up, but especially the three that made it out," continued the St. James head coach. "They still need to clean up some things: stop decelerating on chips, reading the greens better and a few other things, so we have a couple of days to work on those things. Those three were the ones who got out last year, so they know what it takes to move on to the next level. Hopefully their experience pays off."
The three Tiger golfers will travel to Jackson for their Sectional at Kimbeland Golf Club on Monday, May 7.