Osage, Eldon and Versailles golfers earn All-Conference
School of the Osage is on top of its game.
The Indians got together with Eldon, Versailles and the rest of the Tri-County Conference to settle conference bragging rights on Wednesday at Eagle Knoll Golf Club in Hartsburg and claimed those bragging rights as they brought home a conference championship.
After turning in one of the best team scores in recent memory to win a home quad last Thursday, Osage won another home meet on Monday and left little doubt on Wednesday as they bested the rest of the conference by a minimum of 31 strokes.
“They played well and won a few weeks ago at that course,” Osage coach L.J. Weeks stated. “It is a difficult course to play and it requires a lot of different types of shots and some creativity on playing certain holes. My guys tend to like those sorts of places and they were very focused on winning and were set on not making unnecessary mistakes. They played smart.”
Osage put up a team score of 334 while Eldon placed second with a 365 and Versailles earned fifth with a 439 behind California (366) and Blair Oaks (371). The conference field featured 34 total golfers and the top 10 earned All-Conference honors.
Osage was led by Ethan Kline who shot a 77 to finish second and was just one stroke away from tying for the individual conference title. Zach Krantz finished third with a score of 79, returning All-State golfer Jacob Krantz put up a round of 82 to finish fifth, Chance Foster put up a 96 to place 12th and Nick Riley was right behind him in 13th with a 97.
It was Osage’s first conference title since 2010 and with conference title in hand, Weeks was naturally named the Conference Coach of the Year. However, the coach said it is all about his golfers.
“The Coach of the Year is nice. I try to shy away from those things and all of the credit, at least in golf, goes to the players,” said Weeks who took over the head coaching job the year after the Indians won their last conference title. “I guide them as best I can, but they are the ones out there playing. I’m just proud to be along for the ride with them.”
Eldon also came away with some highlights as Austin Kostelnik put up an 81 to finish fourth and earn All-Conference along with Aiden Wells who posted an 83 to earn sixth. Meanwhile, Breckon Blankenship finished his day in 14th with a score of 100, Nick Willingham was right behind him in 15th with a 101 and Cole Kliethermes added a 105 to come in 20th.
“The boys played awesome getting our best finish in a few years,” Eldon coach Matt Frey said. “Osage played a great tournament and it was a well-deserved win by them.”
Versailles also featured an All-Conference golfer in Ori Bartlett who came in 10th with a score of 91. Joel Faron placed 18th with a 103, Tristan Mayhew earned 27th with a 122, Ben Dornan was right behind him in 28th with a 123 and Kyle Bartlett turned in a score of 129 to take 30th.
"The young golfers struggled again at the Eagle Knoll course, although Ori did improve by five strokes from this same course nine days earlier," Versailles coach Chuck Campbell said. "We have not been able to adjust to the tight slanted fairways, but hopefully by experiencing courses like this the young golfers will get better. They should take their fifth place finish as a positive and use this as a motivation to work hard and improve for next year."
Versailles and Eldon were both scheduled to be in action on Thursday and all three teams will look to sharpen things up before district tournaments get underway on Monday. Osage and Eldon will both be in Jefferson City at 9 a.m., while Versailles heads to Buffalo at the same time.
“It was a great day for golf and they seem to be peaking at the right time, “ Weeks said of his championship club. “So, hopefully that will bring more good play on Monday at districts.”