Highland was the only boys golf team out of the six conference combatants to have all four members collect all-conference medals at the Mississippi Valley Conference Golf Tournament Thursday at the par-72 Belk Park Golf Course in Wood River.
It was a nice feather in the Bulldogs’ cap and all four finished within three shots of one another.
Leading the way for Highland were junior Ben Brauns and sophomore Dylan Bargetzi, who shared sixth place after shooting identical rounds of 86.
Junior Connor Pinsker was just one stroke behind the Bulldogs’ top duo with an 87, which was good enough to tie for eighth place.
Junior Brandon Munie rounded out Highland’s team score with an 89 and an 11th-place finish.
But the fruitful medal performances were not enough to win the team title of the tightly contested tournament. In fact, Highland came in third place with a four-player team score of 348, which was only four strokes off the pace of MVC champion Mascoutah (344) and just one shot behind runner-up Waterloo (347).
Rounding out the conference tourney were Triad (350), Civic Memorial (373) and Jerseyville (378).
Mascoutah featured the individual champion in Alex Gorman with a 3-over-par 75 while Waterloo had the runner-up in Ryan Stites with a 76.
Rouding out the top five were Triad’s Cam Lambert (78), Waterloo’s Tre Wahling (84) and Civic Memorial’s Will Spencer (84).
Highland’s other two players that did not count toward the team score but they still finished among the top 15 as senior Braden Rehkemper came in 14th with a 91 and junior Stephen Schniers wound up in a tie for 15th with a 92.
“Brauns and Munie slid a little but it was nice to see the other guys step up and improve upon scores from their previous tournament at Belk,” Highland second-year coach Brent James said. “Although we didn’t play as well as we would have liked today, I feel like we learned a lot about ourselves and the course which I’m hoping we can learn from and use to capitalize on opportunities when comes time to play the regional there in two weeks. In the mean time, there is a lot we are going to do to prepare, and hopefully give a strong finish to the regular season and be ready to fire on all cylinders in the postseason.”
HHS finishes 10th at Orphan invite
Then on Saturday, Highland placed 10th out of 16 teams at the Centralia Orphan Invitational, but Brauns and Munie starred on an individual level.
Brauns and Munie teamed together to shoot a winning score of 71 in the best-ball format to earn medalist honors out of 48 two-man teams.
“As we were practing on Friday I told them that I thought they set up well for this tournament and they proved to not disappoint,” James said. “They have played a lot of holes together over the years and is great to see all those days practicing pay off.”
Bargetzi and Rehkemper joined together to shoot a 83,while Schniers and Pinsker struggled together and came in with a 91.
HHS wins home dual match
Last Wednesday, the Bulldogs shot a solid 160 to nip the visiting Collinsville Kahoks (162) by two strokes Wednesday at the par-36 Highland Country Club.
The victory lifted Highland’s season dual-match record to 12-5.
Brauns again showed the way after turning in a noteworthy round of 6-over 38 to win match medalist honors.
Munie was just one shot back with a 39.
Completing the team score were Bargetzi with a 41 and Pinsker with a 42.
“For the second match in a row, Ben battled back from a slow start to put together a nice round,” James said. “Monday night (at Bent Oak in Breese) he played his last six holes at 2-under par to shoot a 39, and tonight he played his last seven holes at even par to shoot a 38. It is great to seeing that type of fight out of our No. 1 spot. He sets the tone for the rest of team that we have to grind and never give up on a round. I am really pleased with a lot of what I’m seeing out of the team right now at both the varsity and JV levels.”
HHS goes 2-1 in quadrangle match
On Sept. 15, the Bulldogs traveled to the par-36 Bent Oak Golf Course in Breese and went 2-1 in a quadrangle match.
Mater Dei won the match on its home course after shooting a team score of 166 to edge out Highland’s 174. Roxana finished a distant third at 198 and Metro-East Lutheran rounded out the match at 205.
Brauns led Highland with a round of 4-over-par 40 to share medalist honors with Mater Dei’s Tyler Goebel.
Also posting scores for the Bulldogs were Munie (44), Bargetzi 44 and Pinsker (46).
HHS shoots lowest team score in three years
On Sept .13, Highland turned in a superlative team score of 157 to not only notch the team’s season-low round, but it also was the lowest team score since the fall of 2013. It also allowed the Bulldogs to bury two Mississippi Valley Conference opponents and win a triangle match on Tuesday of last week at Highland Country Club.
The Bulldogs carded the top four scores in the match en route to grounding the Civic Memorial Eagles (179) by 22 shots and declawing the Jerseyville Panthers (190) by 33 strokes.
The Bulldogs had three juniors all shoot lights out and tied for medalist honors as Brandon Munie, Stephen Schniers and Connor Pinsker all fired identical rounds of 3-over-par 39.
In addition, Highland sophomore Dylan Bargetzi finished just one shot off the leaders’ pace as he turned in a 4-over 40.
After the Bulldogs took the top four spots, Civic Memorial’s Tristan Frank and Will Spencer were next on the scoring pylon with rounds of 41 and 42, respectively.