Boys golf’s perfect season spoiled by Glenbrook North

Team Remains Optimistic About State Title Chances Despite Loss

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Boys golf’s perfect season spoiled by Glenbrook North

The team celebrates their most recent invite victory at the Zion-Benton Invite on Sept. 14

The team celebrates their most recent invite victory at the Zion-Benton Invite on Sept. 14

New Trier Boys Golf Twitter

The team celebrates their most recent invite victory at the Zion-Benton Invite on Sept. 14

New Trier Boys Golf Twitter

New Trier Boys Golf Twitter

The team celebrates their most recent invite victory at the Zion-Benton Invite on Sept. 14

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The varsity boys golf team’s run of eight consecutive victories to begin the 2019 season was halted on Sept. 17 in a 150-148 loss to Glenbrook North.

While narrowly losing to a perennial sectional qualifier is nothing to be ashamed of, the loss in the nine-hole match to Glenbrook North marked the first defeat of the season for the boys golf team.

“I think that losing builds character more than winning does, but obviously [losing] is tough to take,” said senior Brian Joseph. “But I think the fact that we actually did lose on Tuesday. While it was a tough loss, will help us in the future.”

The loss to Glenbrook North was the first blemish in what has otherwise been an outstanding season for the team.

Although an undefeated season is now out of the realm of possibility, the team remains undefeated in 18-hole invitationals as of the writing of this article, which tend to more accurately exhibit a team’s abilities.

“We have an invite every Saturday [until the postseason starts], and those are typically the more important tournaments,” said senior Davis Johnson.

The team’s dominance this season can likely be traced back to their season opening victory at the Woodstock Invitational.

Despite playing at the notoriously difficult Bull Valley Golf Club, the team’s top four golfers tallied an invite-winning score of 309, headlined by junior Charlie Creamean going one under par with a score of 71.

“[Bull Valley] is one of the hardest courses in the state, and, in years past, we’ve struggled to play well there,” said Joseph. “But this year we won there by a large margin, and that helped to increase morale and make us believe that we could do [very well] this year.”

The team’s energizing victory at Bull Valley has translated into the scorching start that has put the team firmly in the state championship conversation.

Creamean and senior Daniel Tanaka have led the way, consistently flirting with and scoring under par respectively.

In fact, Tanaka shot a combined five-under par between the Buffalo Grove Invite and Deerfield Invite, tying for the best individual score in the former.

“We’ve been playing really well as a team. We’ve been winning all of our invites against some of the top teams in the state,” said Tanaka. “We’ve been playing really well, and hopefully we can keep it up and win a state championship.”

However, while the individual play of Tanaka and Creamean has been exceptional, the abundance of quality golfers has also played a major role in the team’s dominant start.

The roster around Tanaka and Creamean features many players from last season’s state-qualifying team such as Joseph, Johnson, junior Michael Rudnick, and senior Sam Weber.

The regular rotation has also been bolstered by the addition of sophomore James Pryor, a consistent mid-70’s shooter in 18-hole rounds.

“We have ten varsity golfers, and the quality of golf is some of the top in the state of Illinois. One through ten, we’re very consistent at shooting low scores,” said head coach Pete Drevline. “Some of the best competition [the players] see is not only our opponents, but also in practice.”

Although the talents of the individual players have been an integral part of their success, the players’ experience playing with each other has built unwavering trust and confidence between them.

“We’ve gotten to know each other very well as teammates. We’ve had a lot of interactions with each other and gotten to know each other very well over time,” said Joseph. “We’ve been able to harness that individual quality of golf and translate it into being a team sport.”

Despite the loss to Glenbrook North and the numerous invites before the postseason begins on Oct. 7, the boys golf team’s success this season puts a goal greater than any invitational victory at the forefront: capturing the team’s first state title since 2003.

“The goal is always to improve and to peak at the right time,” said Drevline. “I think that this team is very focused and determined to win a state championship, and I think if we had any result but that they’d be a little disappointed.”

With seniors such as Tanaka, Joseph, and Johnson in their final seasons, taking advantage of the championship window will be paramount for the boys golf team.

With the combination of talent and experience on the roster, the seniors’ final title shot may also be their best.

“Our goal this year is definitely to win state. It’s my last year, so I don’t see a better year to be able to do that,” said Joseph. “We have such a good team both talent-wise and chemistry-wise, and this is the year that we can do it.”

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