GREENSBURG — In the Columbus East High School gymnasium, the accomplishments of many of the school’s athletic teams adorn the walls.
“For golf, we have one little line,” said Olympians golf coach Tom LaBarbera. “There is a lot of space to be filled.”
It’s time to get some orange paint.
Columbus East won its first sectional championship since 2003 on Friday at Greensburg Country Club. The Olympians outplayed perennial power Columbus North on the back nine to post a 306, five shots better than the Bull Dogs.
Columbus North’s streak of eight sectional championships came to an end.
“It’s awesome,” said East senior Adam Krebs, who shot 75, which tied for second individually with teammate Austin Proffitt. “It is fantastic to finally break through and win a sectional.
“It’s about time.”
Heading into the back nine, North and East virtually were even.
“I went to our three seniors (Krebs, Zach Sutton, Chris Jurrema) and told them they needed to go out and use their experience, to hit their targets and to stay in the game,” LaBarbera said.
“Adam shot 36 on the back, Chris shot 38 and Zach maintained. They handled the pressure.”
North coach Doug Bieker said his players didn’t match the Olympians in the closing holes.
“I think we put ourselves in position on the back nine to win,” Bieker said. “We didn’t finish.
“We were one stroke a man short.”
One Bull Dog who did play well from beginning to end was Spencer Fairbanks, who won the sectional individual championship by shooting 73 over the par-70 course.
“I’ve worked with my putter a bunch,” said Fairbanks, who is a sophomore. “I made some big putts today.”
Fairbanks’ older brother, Christian Fairbanks, won a state individual co-championship last year along with North teammate Michael VanDeventer. Christian Fairbanks, who graduated after his state title, had never won a sectional title.
Whether Spencer Fairbanks, or the rest of his North teammates, get a shot at the state tournament this season will be decided Thursday at the Providence Regional at Champions Pointe.
Columbus East (306), Columbus North (311) and Greensburg (328) advanced to the regional by finishing in the top three on Friday. Jac-Cen-Del’s Lucas Williams (77), East Central’s Chad Spencer (77) and North Decatur’s Dayne Lecher (78) earned the individual spots that go to the top players not on a qualifying team.
Overall, it was the Olympians’ day to shine.
Proffitt continued his fine play for East.
“I think I have been fairly consistent,” he said. “I have been chugging along.
“I did have a couple of battles out there, and I powered through them. I doubled 11 and 17. I just need to work on it this week.”
If Proffitt shoots much lower, he might just earn a spot to the state meet, either individually, or with his team.
“We’ve got to fight like we did today,” Proffitt said of the regional tournament. “If we play to our abilities, we have as good a chance as anyone.”
While Krebs and Proffitt shot 75, teammates Jurrema and Sutton each shot 78. Derek Alexander completed East’s scoring with an 80 that LaBarbera called a very solid round.
“I played well except for two holes,” said Jurrema, who had a pair of triple bogeys. “I think this speaks volumes about how we didn’t play our best and still won the sectional.”
Sutton hit just four greens in regulation the entire round. “But my short game was on fire,” he said. “I just need to work on my irons.”
East, which has now won the Hoosier Hills Conference title and the sectional, is looking forward to reaching its season-long goal of reaching the state tournament as a team.
“If we play the same type of golf, we will have a shot,” Krebs said.
North will have play better to reach the state meet. Matt Vorndran shot 77 on Friday while Kyung Kim posted an 80. Bryce Turner and Connor Poalka completed North’s scoring with rounds of 81.
“I think we have our nerves out of the way now,” Bieker said. “We have to play a perfect round (at the regional), but I think this team is capable of doing it.”
South Decatur’s top golfer at the sectional was Cody Hastings with an 80. Other Cougar scores were Nick Schwering and Seth Niese at 89, Braydon Helms at 92 and Kyle Carder at 99.
Hauser’s top golfer was Jack Washburn with a 91. Aaron Sweet shot 95 for the Jets followed by Justin Compton at 92, Mason Sherman at 96 and Wyatt Whittington at 110.
Greensburg Sectional golf
at Greensburg Country Club
Top three teams advance to regional
1. Columbus East 306
2. Columbus North 311
3. Greensburg 328
OTHER SCORES: North Decatur, 339, Batesville 349, Milan 350, South Decatur 350, East Central 356, Oldenburg 362, Hauser 374, Jac-Cen-Del 375, South Dearborn 378, Lawrenceburg 477
1. Spencer Fairbanks, CN, 73
2t. Adam Krebs, CE, 75
2t. Austin Proffitt, CE, 75
4. Maverick Jones, G, 76
5t. Matt Vorndran, CN, 77
5t. Lucas Williams, JCD, 77
5t. Chad Spencer, EC, 77
5t. Keegan McCullough, G, 77