Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | May 26, 2017

Panther boys’ golf team to state

Seniors lead the way as Mt. Pleasant boys place second in district meet
May 19, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger The Panthers pose with their state qualifying banner (left to right): Trace White, Bailey Shelledy, Riley Kempker, Trevor Mabeus, Coach Rob Zeglen, Jeff Cox and Jake Moffett.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

OSKALOOSA — On Feb. 13, at the first boys’ golf meeting, head coach Rob Zeglen told the Panthers he thought they were a state-caliber team. Three months later in Oskaloosa, the players proved him right.

Mt. Pleasant shot a 323 to get second in their state-qualifying meet and punch their ticket to the state meet. The Panthers finished just nine strokes back from first-place Williamsburg, which also advanced.

“It was a great feeling,” said Zeglen after the meet. “We had a lot of ups and downs today. It was a great feeling to see the boys’ faces when they realized they had moved on.”

The depth of the Panthers was on full display as it has been all year. All six players finished within eight strokes of each other.

It was a couple of seniors who led the way on the scoreboard. Jeff Cox and Trevor Mabeus each shot a 79.

After the meet, Cox talked about the team’s bounce-back ability. The Panthers narrowly lost the SEC crown to Washington earlier this month at home, only to make a full recovery to get past sectionals in Burlington last Friday, and put the cherry on top in Oskaloosa today.

“We just looked at what we had for mistakes and worked on what it was,” said Cox. “For me, it was chipping. I worked on chipping and I chipped phenomenal today. It saved me in a lot of spots.”

With the scores being so close, the Panthers didn’t quite know whether or not they had done enough to place in the top two. Mabeus echoed that feeling postgame.

“Right before my last hole I kind of stepped back,” Mabeus recalled. “I was coming off a rough hole and I thought that was the end of my season (and) my high school career. I thought we were done and I was trying to hold back tears.”

When Mabeus came back, he started seeing the other scores roll in and he says his confidence grew more and more as the final numbers were posted.

Bailey Shelledy, a sophomore, was the next Panther down the list, shooting an 82. The third senior, Riley Kempker finished right behind him with an 83, despite starting the first three holes with two bogeys and a quadruple-bogey.

“Coach always said we were a state bound team,” said Kempker after the tournament. “I guess he was right.”

Even the non-scorers were right with the four top Panthers on the day. Sophomore Trace White finished at 84 and freshman Jake Moffett was right behind him with an 87.

The Panthers will play their state meet on Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27, in the town of Livermore, which is just north of Humboldt.

The Panthers celebrated at Mt. Pleasant Golf and Country Club when they arrived back home, driving around with the newly-won state banner and hanging it on the walls, and with one week separating them from the big meet, there is only one thing left to do.

“Well, school is out so I’m going to be practicing every day I guess,” says Kempker. “I’ll be on the course…every day, all day.”

 

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