Crusaders confident they can get through boys golf sectional at Salem

News-DemocratOctober 12, 2013 

Althoff boys golf coach Dan Polites has a short wish list heading into the Class 2A Salem Sectional on Saturday at Salem Country Club.

All Polites wants from his two-time defending Class 2A state champion Crusaders are four good scores.

"We know Michael (Johnson) is going to shoot a good round and that Matthew (McCarthy) is capable of going lower than the 79 he shot at the (Marquette) regional,'' Polites said. "We just need two of the four players in the Nos. 3 through 6 spots to have good rounds for us.

"If they do that we've got a good shot of advancing to state for a fourth straight year.''

A total of 12 teams and 40 individuals from throughout Southern and central Illinois will compete at Salem Country Club beginning at 9 a.m. The top three teams and 10 individuals not on those teams advance to the Class 2A state Tournament, Oct. 18-19 at Weibring Golf Course in Normal.

Althoff is expected to battle Massac County, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Centralia, Marion, Mascoutah, Columbia and Triad for one of the top three spots.

"It's a loaded field with Massac County and Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin among the top teams. It's got to be one of the toughest sectionals in the state,'' Polites said. "Any one of seven or eight teams could advance.''

Triad will be led by Mississippi Valley Conference champion Brayden Polansky and Austin Buente, while Highland has three players -- Cam Loyet, Brock Portell and Jesse Johnson -- capable of advancing as individuals.

Mascoutah, making its first sectional appearance in more than a decade, will be led by junior Tyler McKinley and seniors Michael Duprey and Nathan Welch.

Columbia's top players include seniors Josh Fleming, Jake Hillen and Michael Barker.

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