Maroons, Tigers are in hunt for regional title

News-DemocratOctober 7, 2013 

The Edwardsville Tigers have won 13 of the last 14 Southwestern Conference boys golf championships.

Led by fromer coaching legends Dick Gerber and Dennis Erlich and now under the guidance of the highly capable Dene Schickedanz, the Tigers have produced many players who have gone on to star in the college ranks such as Mike Suhre (Northern Illlinois) and Chris Brant (Iowa).

But when eight teams tee off on 9 a.m. Tuesday at Westview Golf Course in Quincy for the Class 3A Quincy Regional, the Tigers won't be the favorite.

That role goes to perennial state title contender and regional host --the Quincy Blue Devils.

"We like and we play well, as a rule, at Westview," Schickedanz said. "We went this weekend and played a tournament and so we will be well prepared. But Quincy has to be one of the top five teams in the state. And, on their home course, they'll be awfully tough to beat.''

Quincy, along with seven Southwestern Conference schools -- Belleville East, Belleville West, Edwardsville, Collinsville, Alton, Granite City and O'Fallon -- will play in the regional.

The top three teams and top 10 players not on those teams advance to the Pekin Sectional on Oct. 14. Class 1A and Class 2A regionals also are being held at sites throughout the state on Tuesday.

Edwardsville features a deep and talented squad led by Ty Zeller and Tyler Worthey. But the Tigers aren't the only SWC team wich a good chance of advancing on Tuesday.

Beleville West, in the midst of its finest season in a decade, has one of the premier players in the state in senior Cade Dibadj as well as five other top players. Seniors Parker Biene, Michael Len and Trevor Brown are all four-year starters for West, which won the regional title at Spencer T. Olin Golf Course in Alton a year ago.

Other top individuals to watch are Keenai Sampson of Collinsville, Billy Goodman of O'Fallon and Michael Fuehne of Belleville East.

Following is a list of the other regionals in the metro east on Tuesday.

Class 1A Okawville Regional

What time: 8 a.m.

Where: At Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course

Tournament favorite: Nashville

Local Teams competing: Marissa, Nashville, New Athens, Oawville, Red Bud, Sparta, Valmeyer and Gibault

Top local individuals: Brenden Holzhauer and Jordan Harre, Nashville; Sam Range, Gibault; Alex Petri, Valmeyer; Tyler Jones, Marissa.

Synopsis: The defending regional champion, Nashville senior Jordan Harre, leads the way for a strong Nashville squad that has its eyes set on another trip to the Class A State Tournament. The Hornets placed sixth in the state a year ago. Sam Range of Gibault is one of the top Class 1A players in the state.

Class 1A Wesclin Regional

What time: 9 a.m.

Where: At Governors Run Golf Course, Carlyle

Tournament favorite: Carlyle.

Local teams competing: Mater Dei, Carlyle, Metro East Lutheran, Lebanon, First Baptist Academy in O'Fallon, Wesclin.

Top local individuals: Josh Palsenberger, Andrew Ray and Brandon Jansen, all from Carlyle

Synopsis: The Carlyle Indians return to the scene of their most recent triumph -- the Cahokia Conference championship -- which they won last week. Playing on its home course is also a huge advantage for Carlyle, which might be pushed slightly by Mater Dei and Metro East Lutheran.

Class 2A (Alton) Marquette Regional

What time: 9 a.m.

Where: At Rolling Hills Golf Course, Godfrey

Tournament favorite: Althoff

Local teams competing: Althoff, Marquette, Civic Memorial, Wood River, Waterloo, Roxana, Freeburg, Columbia

Top local individuals: Michael Johnson and Matthew McCarthy, Althoff; Michael Barker, Columbia; MZ Duprey, Mascoutah; Nick Hamilton, Columbia.

Synopsis: The two-time defending Class 2A defending state champion Crusaders better not be looking past this one, which also features several dangerous teams -- Columbia, Marquette and Mascoutah -- all of which are capable of breaking 320. The Crusaders have two of the best players in the state in senior Michael Johnson and sophomore Matthew McCarthy.

Quote: Althoff coach Dan Polites: "If we play the way we can, then we should get out. Matthew (McCarthy) and Michael (Johnson) have been consistent all year. For us to get back to state, we need our No. 3-6 players to play better.''

Class 2A Mount Vernon Regional

What time: 9 a.m.

Where: At Green Hills Golf Club

Tournament favorites: Highland, Mount Vernon

Local teams competing: Triad, Highland, Central

Top Local individuals: Austin Buente, Triad and Brayden Polansky, Triad; Brock Portell, Jesse Johnson and Cam Loyet, Highland.

Synopsis: The host Rams may have a slight edge playing on their home course, but Highland may have more depth. Triad is also a darkhorse if Buente goes low.

Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or dcriddle@bnd.com

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