O’FALLON – The Warrenton boys golf team hoped one milestone would lead to another.
Less than a week after shooting a 318 to win their program’s first-ever Gateway Athletic Conference North championship, the Warriors returned to where the deed went down — the Links at Dardenne for Monday’s Class 3 District 4 Tournament.
The mission this time was a top-two team finish to send the complete five-player squad to next week’s sectional, something that hasn’t happened since 2011.
It didn’t quite pan out though. Warrenton finished third in the team standings with a 326 and advanced four individuals to the next round of the postseason.
Per MSHSAA rules, the top two teams in each district advance, along with the top-15 finishers from non-qualifying squads.
While the Warriors performance is nothing to slouch about, they couldn’t help but feel a tad disappointed, a testament to how third-year Head Coach Aaron Jinkerson has raised the bar.
“I was hoping our good vibes from conference at this course would carry over, but we came just a bit short of qualifying our team,” Jinkerson said. “But I think being able to qualify four is still an excellent accomplishment.”
Junior Travis Toebben, who won GAC North medalist honors with a season-best score of 2-over-par 74 last Wednesday and earned his second straight conference player of the year award, paced the Warriors at districts along with fellow junior Brenden Day, both carding an 80, tying each other for sixth place.
The duo will be sectional returners with Toebben aiming for a third consecutive state appearance and Day his first.
Warrenton’s two other sectional qualifiers were competing in their first district tournaments with junior Kole Hammerberg tying for 11th with an 82 and sophomore Shane Brosenne 17th with an 84.
Warrenton’s fifth golfer, Gavin Prior missed the sectional cut, shooting a 92 for 29th place. But the junior should have another crack at it next year.
PIRATES TAKE FIRST
St. Charles, which was the runner-up and four strokes behind Warrenton in conference, won its first district title since 2003, thanks to some surprise contributors.
The Pirates and MICDS both finished with a 315 and the tiebreaker was the score of the fifth golfer, the one that usually doesn’t count.
St. Charles’ Cameron Teson’s 87 was six strokes better than the Rams No. 5. and proved the difference maker.
The district’s medalist also belonged to the Pirates and also was a bit of a shocker as sophomore Will Gould, the no. 3 player in the team’s lineup, shot a 1-over-par 73 to grab the title, one stroke ahead of MICDS’ Sam Hanser.
Gould shot a 78 at conference, tying for fourth with Hammerberg.
BACK TO BOGEY
The Warriors first tournament of the season was at Bogey Hills and it could also become the location of their last.
The country club in St. Charles is the site for Monday’s Class 3 Sectional 2 Tournament.
Advancing is a bit tougher, with the top two teams and top 12 individuals from non-qualifying teams moving on to play May 13-14 in the Class 3 state tournament at Columbia Country Club.
Day won a medalist title on the future sectional course, shooting a 6-over-77 at an invitational tournament back in March.
“We’re familiar with Bogey Hills, and I like that familiarity but it’s going to take a really solid round for anyone to make it to state,” Jinkerson said. “I’m thinking something around 78 or 79. We’re going to have to put together two solid nines to make it through.”