SULLIVAN — Last year the Sullivan Class 1A boys golf team won its third regional in the last four years last Tuesday at Windsor’s Fox Prairie Golf Course, and Monday the team competes in the Danville Schlarman Sectional. The Redskins have not qualified for state since 1979 when they finished third in the two-class system.
Sullivan has had a tremendous season, going 21-0, and the only losses were in tournaments to Hillsboro, Effingham St. Anthony and last year’s Class 2A state champion, Charleston.
“Going into the year, we knew we had a pretty good chance of beating everyone on our regular schedule,” said Sullivan coach Ben Richter. “We have a good team, and I think if we play up to our ability, we have a pretty good shot of winning the sectional.”
Members of the team and what they averaged per 18 holes through Sept. 12 are: Caden Ellis (71.6), Leighton Burcham (80.1), Drew Rogers (83.4), Leyton Ellis (87.60), Logan Westjohn (89.8) and Aiden Short (89.8). Tim Lawyer is also on the team.
“The Danville Country Club is an old-style country club,” said Ellis. “It is nice but relatively short, and I am excited to go and play there. Hopefully, we can bring home a sectional title.”
A sectional title is something Sullivan has not won before. Last season they finished fourth in the Bismarck-Henning Sectional with a 339, which was 12 strokes behind the last state qualifier, Monticello.
The team practices at Danville last Friday. The course has bluegrass fairways and was built in 1928. It is a 6,327-yard, par-71 course.
Sullivan finished with a 319 in the regional with Ellis and Rogers earning medals as one of the top five, with a 73 and an 81, respectively. Ellis was the individual winner. Other members of the Redskins in the regional were Short, Lawyer, Leyton Ellis and Burcham.
Also set to participate in the sectional is Okaw Valley, a team that was seventh last year with a 348. The Timberwolves shot a 374 in the regional, and members of the team are Case Crawford, Beau Atchison, Addison Webner, Miles Harlin and Hayden Carlson.
Also competing are four from the area that were among the top 10 individuals not on an advancing team. They include Tri-County’s Logan Richardson, who advances to state last year with a 75, the same as Ellis, who also advanced, and Holden Kile of Tri-County along with Shelbyville’s Will Leach and WSS’s Eli Howard.
Sullivan won the Central Illinois Conference for the fourth time in five years. The Redskins have three seniors (Caden Ellis, Lawyer and Burcham) on the varsity, three sophomores and a junior.
“We wanted to go undefeated, win conference and win a regional, and we have done that,” said Richter. “One of our goals is to win a sectional. I think we have a pretty good shot of winning sectional. I want them to experience state.”
The top three teams and top 10 individuals not on an advancing team move on to the state meet, which is set for Oct. 12 and 13 at Bloomington’s Prairie Vista Golf Course.
Contact Mike Monahan at (217) 238-6854. Follow him on Twitter: @monahammikejgtc