Join us in congratulating our boys golf team for winning the IHSA Class 1A State Championship!
Under the guidance of coach Dennis Trame, the Knights defeated Althoff Catholic High School by one stroke at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.
We thank the players, coach Dennis Trame, and the parents for their dedication!
article below credited to Paul Halfacre from the www.stltoday.com
BLOOMINGTON — Nathan Rivera couldn’t find the words to describe his feelings when he heard the news.
The senior was overwhelmed Saturday when he was told that the Knights captured the Illinois Class 1A boys golf state team championship by a single stroke.
“I’m speechless. I couldn’t imagine this,” Rivera said.
After battling the elements and fighting off determined rival Althoff, Mater Dei walked off the Prairie Vista Golf as the state champion.
“It feels great. We came in knowing it was going to be a dogfight, and we’ve seen Althoff three or four tournaments this year,” Mater Dei coach Dennis Trame said. “We’ve won our share and they won their share. We knew it was going to come close, but we played and won together.”
Mater Dei fired a two-day score of 643 and locked up its first state championship since 1993.
The 643 was just good enough to edge out Althoff, which carded a 644 to secure the runner-up position. The Crusaders cracked the top three for the time since they won the title in 2012.
“We played awfully hard,” Althoff coach Dan Polites said. “It’s tough because we have three seniors, and we’re pretty emotional right now. Congratulations to the Knights. They had a great year. We knew that it was going to come down to the last hole.”
Mater Dei senior Grant Goebel lined up a 15-foot putt on the final hole that appeared to be on the money. But something on the green caught his ball and forced him to take another shot.
“I knew it was really close at the end,” Goebel said. “I just wanted to make sure I had it secured.”
After Goebel finally put away the putt for a double bogey on the final hole, he walked to the scorekeeper to find out the final totals.
“I thought I had it by a couple of strokes,” Goebel said. “I was just very relived and excited. It feels amazing.”
Goebel’s brother, sophomore Carter Goebel, led the Knights with a combined score of 158, while Grant Goebel finished with a 159. While those two low scores powered the Knights, it was the depth of the Mater Dei lineup that proved crucial in holding off the late-charging Crusaders.
“These kids have worked so hard,” Trame said. “Their energy towards golf is unlimited and continuous. A few play other sports, but it’s a lot of golf.”
Rivera, who shot a 162, disliked the added element of wind on the second day as it tossed his ball around all over the course.
“It wasn’t fun,” Rivera said. “It was hard. Sometimes you had to club up by two clubs and sometimes you’d have to club down. Sometimes it got tricky, but I felt like we did really well today.”
Trame admitted that he wasn’t expecting a one-stroke win.
“We felt that there would be a margin of three or four,” Trame said. “We kept giving it back, and I’m sure they gave us a few. We’re fortunate to be on top.”
After Althoff senior Jack Bruening finished his final round of high school golf, he was overcome with emotions as he hugged Polites.
“Just a culmination of four years,” Polites said. “We started when he was a freshman, we weren’t very good, but we made it to state the last three years. It was emotional for both Jack and I. We consider each other family. It was just an emotional moment.”
Polites knows that falling just short will sting for a while. But he couldn’t be prouder of his team.
“Right now, the sting is there, but as things settle in, 192 teams started this process we made it this far,” Polites said.
After a long two days of intense competition, Grant Goebel and his teammates are ready to head home and celebrate.
“I’m sure we’re the least thought of sport in Breese, but I think the kids deserve all the credit we can give them because of their work ethic and drive,” Trame said.