On the upswing: Cougars putting together strong season on links

By design, Trinity Lutheran’s boys golf team is flying under the radar this spring.

In 2017 the Cougars are putting together one of their best seasons in school history.

This season, the Cougars are 25-4 and are setting records on nine- and 18-hole competition individually and as a team.

On April 8, the Cougars repeated as champions at the Shiner Invitational in Rising Sun with a school record score of 328 strokes in the 11-team field.

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At the Jennings County Invitational, the Cougars placed third of 10 teams — behind Columbus East and Madison.

On Tuesday, Trinity senior Cory Stuckwisch set a school record for nine holes at Shadowood Golf Course by shooting an even-par 36.

This year’s team features six seniors — Cory Stuckwisch, Chad Stuckwisch, Jonathan Keith, Skyler Stahl, Drew Royalty, Kegan Prentice — and 13 total players.

“I’ve never had so many seniors that can be leaders,” Cougars coach Greg Personett said. “They’re helping the younger players come along in the direction we need to go. Because of that, the younger players are pushing them as well. They’re working on their own to get better and it’s paying off, they’re being role models. It makes my job incredibly easy.”

All the seniors are averaging in the low to mid-40s, and any one of them, along with sophomore Jacob Keith, can medal at any competition.

“It has been incredible,” Personett said. “Last week at Timbergate (Edinburgh) Jonathan Keith is medalist with 38. Chad came in the other day and shot a 39. Each time we go out, it’s a different player. It pushes everyone.”

Prentice said that the team’s depth is translating to wins.

“I think that this year, we’re a nine-man deep team,” he said. “We have nine guys who can shoot 45 or lower.

Trinity is in its 12th year of fielding a boys golf team.

While the Cougars have advanced one individual out of the Bloomington North Sectional at Indiana University, they have never made it out as a team.

This could finally be the Cougars’ year.

“There’s two teams that stand out at that sectional: Bedford North Lawrence and Bloomington South,” Personett said. “That third spot is open to a lot of schools. Last year, Brown County got in. This year, I see four or five schools fitting in that spot, Brownstown, Seymour, Brown County and maybe we even have a shot.”

Trinity beat Seymour by three strokes at the Jennings County Invite and Brown County by 67 strokes at Rising Sun.

“Our top-seven, any one of us could easily shoot one, two or three over par in any given match,” Cougar Jonathan Keith said. “We want to finish the season strong and advance from sectional. There are some tough teams in the sectional.”

While the Cougars aren’t looking too far ahead, they know that making it out of sectional on June would mean a lot to the program.

“It would be huge. A lot of the sports at Trinity have sectional wins or have advanced in the tournament,” Personett said. “We’ve never been able to do that. I think it would be good for the school.”

Today, the Cougars look for another 18-hole victory at the Hauser Invitational in Hope.

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Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.