Linn golfers’ chances dashed for repeat district title in 2020

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 4/22/20

Linn golfers were in a rebuilding year to be sure, but the Wildcats were hoping for a season on the links with a second straight district title.

However, the coronavirus had other ideas as the …

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Linn golfers’ chances dashed for repeat district title in 2020

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Linn golfers were in a rebuilding year to be sure, but the Wildcats were hoping for a season on the links with a second straight district title.

However, the coronavirus had other ideas as the season was canceled.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Coach Ryan Rost. “We had 20 kids out for golf, and I’m proud that they were working very hard, first in the gym, and then at the Osage County Club, and we were hoping to be competitive. It’s a tragedy that we can’t get out there and play because I really believe we had another shot at a district title.”

Last year was a milestone for the Wildcats, who for the first time in seven years, and only for the second time in school history, the Class 2, District 5 title by one stroke over Winfield, 343- 344 on a very windy and rainy day.

Junior Alek Peters earned All-District honors with a share of fifth place as he shot a 13-over 84.

He was the lone returner from last year’s squad.

“He has improved a lot and should have a great year again,” said Rost in early practices. “He just missed the cut for All- State last year, so he’s really motivated not only to get back to state, but to improve his final standing.”

All of that is now moot, with the cancellation of the spring season. However, it’s important to note that Peters led the Wildcats last year with an 84-87/171 on the par 72 Rivercut Golf Course at Springfield to earn 24th. After the first day he was tied for 15th but finished nine spots down after day two, just missing the All- State cut of 168.

At the sectional level Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield, Peters shot a 17-over 88 for 11th place, and junior Ben Steinbeck, the only other player on the roster with any varsity experience, stepped up toward the end of last year but saw his season end with a 114 for 42nd place. The cut was 92.

“He’s hungry to be in the top five and if he continues to work hard, he has a great opportunity to do just that,” said Rost.

Seniors this year are Chance Pinkerton, Thadeus Sale-Poole, Alexis Wolfe, Lauren Hock and foreign-exchange student Arianna Cingolani, who returned to Italy early in the pandemic.

All of these players were vying for a varsity spot, and Rost said he shares the frustration his players feel at having the season canceled, but hopes they will learn from this experience.

“Life is full of adversity and the important thing is finding ways to overcome it,” Rost said. “I’m confident these kids will be ready for whatever life throws at them.”

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