SEYMOUR — If its first tournament rounds are an indication for the results to come, Columbus North’s boys golf team has a lot to look forward to in 2018.
The Bull Dogs combined for a 334 — four strokes better than runner-up Bedford North Lawrence — to win the season-opening Seymour Invitational Saturday at Shadowood Golf Course.
Jasper took third place with a 345 followed by Bloomington North (354), Seymour (360), Columbus East (366), Jennings County (371) and Brownstown Central (436).
Bedford’s Ethan Stanley received top individual honors by shooting a 4-over-par 76. Juniors Drew Smith and Henry Kiel led the way for the Bull Dogs, carding scores of 77 and 79.
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North’s other three golfers had seen little to no varsity action going into the invite. Junior Reese Moore shot an 88, while freshmen Jacob Niedbalski (90) and Luke VanDeventer (101) made their varsity debuts in grand fashion.
“For the most part, Drew and Henry played well,” North coach Doug Bieker said. “We’re going to need that, and better scoring from the back end from our lineup. Today, we were able to brave the elements and get the job done. This team managed their game pretty well. There were a couple hiccups, which led to big numbers, but for the most part, we didn’t do anything terribly bad.”
Bieker said he looks forward to seeing the team improve in the coming weeks.
“I’m excited for what this team can do if they continue to work hard,” he said. “Hopefully (winning the invitational) will motivate them to do that. Once the weather breaks, and we get out more, the chipping and short game will get better. That’s something they haven’t been able to practice.”
While the Olympians didn’t shoot the score they’d hoped, coach Tom LaBarbera was encouraged by what he saw in Seymour.
“One of the things I complimented them on was, I thought they competed,” LaBarbera said. “Even though their scores didn’t reflect that, they competed. They stayed focused, didn’t get upset on bad shots and stayed in the moment. That’s very encouraging. I think that’s something we can build on going through the season, and as a coach, that make me very excited.”
Mark Mayhew led the Olympians with an 83. Avery Foist (89), Adrian Adams (90), Leyton Erfmeier (108) and Cole Schaefer (104) followed Mayhew.
Jennings’ seventh-place finish was led by an 85 from Bryce Kirchner. Austin Roscoe (92), Hunter Conrad (95), Justin Gasper (99) and Joe Kelly (100) completed the card for the Panthers.