East senior focused on sectional title run

Columbus East senior Adam Krebs, who has proven this season that he is the area’s top golfer, said he doesn’t pay attention to “the other stuff” when he is on a golf course.

That will be a good trick starting Friday, when Columbus East opens play in the Greensburg Sectional.

Here is some of the “other stuff.”

* Krebs qualified for the state tournament as a sophomore but missed getting into a playoff last season at regional by one stroke. As a senior, this will be his final run at a state tournament berth.

* Columbus East, this year’s Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament champion, hasn’t won a sectional title since 2003.

* Fellow seniors Chris Jurrema and Zach Sutton combine with Krebs to give East its best chance of ending Columbus North’s dominance of local golf. This could be the Olympians’ window of opportunity with the Bull Dogs rebuilding.

Even so, Krebs said he will go about business as usual.

“I try not to put too much pressure on myself,” he said. “I think we all need to play our game and worry about ourselves. If we play smart, we are not going to get ourselves into too much trouble.”

East coach Tom LaBarbera expects Krebs to lead his team, as has been the case much of the time over the past two seasons.

“Obviously, he has elevated our program to levels East golf has never been before,” LaBarbera said. “I think Adam is very focused. Our three seniors have a collective goal to make it to state.”

LaBarbera has watched Krebs mature into a dominant high school golfer.

“His length has been the difference the last two years,” LaBarbera said. “As a freshman and a sophomore, he was average. His junior and senior years, it kicked in. For example, the other day he eagled the par five at Champions Pointe. As an underclassmen, he wouldn’t have been able to do that, reach the green in two.

“One of the things that has helped Adam is that he is a multisport athlete. He played basketball as a freshman and a sophomore, and he plays soccer. He spent a lot of time in the weight room training. He has gotten stronger in his lower body. He is a man now, and he is hitting a lot more short irons into greens. He has just matured.”

He has matured so much that LaBarbera usually devotes his time to other golfers during a match.

“Some of the boys, I need to be on specific holes to make sure they are not hitting into trouble,” LaBarbera said. “I basically leave Adam alone. He knows when to hit the driver, and when to hit an iron off the tee.”

Krebs said his maturity has allowed him to play smarter golf.

“You can’t do dumb things out there,” he said of playing at Greensburg Country Club. “You do not want to miss it in the wrong spots. There are holes there where you can be aggressive and you need to take advantage of them. Other than that, you need to play conservative.

“I’m just smarter about how I play the course we are at that week. I look at what is out there, and I try to manage the course better. My freshman year, I tried to blast driver past everyone.”

He said he expects the Olympians to make a big run at the sectional title.

“We’ve been taking the last two weeks and getting ready,” he said. “We’ve been getting excited and our heads are in the right place. We have a good chance at winning sectionals.”

After a bad outing last week, Krebs shot 71 on Saturday to win medalist honors at the Providence Invitational at Champions Pointe in Henryville.

“I had just a bad day with my driver and got into too many trees, so the next few days I went out and hit a couple extra buckets of balls, worked with (Otter Creek instructor) Jeff Smith and got it straightened out.”

When Krebs wraps up his high school career in the next few weeks, he is headed to Purdue to study engineering.

“I don’t want to say it hasn’t been nice, but I have had a good high school career, and I am ready to move along,” he said. “(The end of his high school golf career) is kind of bittersweet.

“At Purdue, I plan on trying to play as much golf as a I can but in intramurals. I just want to have some fun with it. High school was enough competitive golf for me. I just like to have fun with it.

“Hopefully, someday I can come back to Columbus to work and play Otter Creek every day.”

At a glance

Adam Krebs

SCHOOL: Columbus East

YEAR: Senior

POSITION: Krebs is the Olympians’ No. 1 golfer

SCORING AVERAGE: Current, 74.; 2014 75.6; 2013 81.3; 2012 84

NEXT EVENT: East tees off in the Greensburg Sectional at 8:30 a.m. on Friday at Greensburg Country Club