Considering the level of competition and the stakes in the playoffs, the Highlands boys’ golf team performed as well as they could in a strong 12-team regional tournament.

Highland placed sixth with a score of 329 in the IHSA Class 2A Effingham section at Effingham Country Club on Monday October 4th in Effingham.

Tournament champion Mater Dei (293), runner-up Benton (296) and Althoff Catholic (315) all qualified for the Class 2A tournament.

“The 320s have been our average most of the year, so in tough tournament conditions in the section, (having) the boys shoot their average, we’re pretty proud of that,” said Highlands coach Brent James. “Mater Dei and Benton, we pretty much knew they were going to do a double.

“Mater Dei, overall they’re very strong and the section had a lot of good players and a lot of good teams… so to finish right in the middle of the field I’m very happy with that.”

While the Bulldogs narrowly missed the cut state by three places as a team, they weren’t totally excluded in the section.

Dominick Emig paved the way for HHS as he qualified for this Class 2A tournament on Friday October 8 at Welbring Golf Club in Normal with a solid 76. That score was good for ninth place overall in the lowest 18th hole score division.

“Dominick was roughly ninth overall and that put him in the top 10 for individuals who weren’t on the three teams. Of those, he was maybe fourth, so he did it pretty clearly, ”James said.

Emig struggled early in his turn to hit the greens with his irons, but eventually his putting allowed him to move forward to declare,

“Hitting the ball is normally a strength for him, but he made up for it with a putting and he hit tons of unique putts,” said James. “The course was in great shape and the greens were rolling well and he was putting them on the right lines and they were falling.”

Emig finished his round in a dominant fashion, reversing five consecutive starts to close his day.

“I think he knew he was kind of on the hunt and really made it up to finish,” James said.

Bryce Knackstedt was 31st with an 81, followed by Braden Schropf and Easton Belford tied for 56th with an 86 each. Mason Emig placed 75th with a 91 and Tanner Gilliam completed the HHS score tied for 87th with Triad’s Owen Twyman shooting a 96.

Highland Girls Golf

Syndey Coziar, the Highland Isolated Girls Class 1A Sectional qualifier, finished 29th with a score of 92 in the Gibualt Class 1A Sectional on Monday October 4th at The Acorns Golf Links in Waterloo.

She finished just four strokes away from qualifying for the Class 1A tournament in Bloomington.

This story was originally published October 5, 2021 12:13 am.

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