(Oct. 25, 2013) Five Stephen Decatur golfers will compete in the 4A/3A state championship on the University of Maryland College Park course next week.
Last week’s District VIII championship at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Cambridge was a qualifier for the state competition.
Decatur finished in first place with a 314. Contributing to the win was freshman Matt Kristick (73), senior captain Andrew Urban (78) and juniors Danny Parker (81) and Brooks Holloway (82).
The foursome will represent Decatur as a team during the 3A/4A state tournament, which begins with the semi-final round on Monday.
Junior Delaney Iacona shot a 90 during the district match. If a female golfer shoots a 94 or lower during districts she advances to the state tournament. Iacona’s score qualified her for states as an individual.
This will be the third time both Urban and Iacona have participated in the state championship.
Urban said he is excited to compete in the state tournament and he hopes to perform better than last year.
“To compete at the state level you have to practice harder than your peers, that means on and off the course, every single day. You must persevere and never give up even after a bad day,” Urban said. “As part of the team, I hope to play my best and play my hardest to help get this team a victory to end my senior year. If we all play to our potential we have a definite chance of taking the state title.”
Iacona said she is also excited to make her third state appearance. Participating in the match gives the Seahawks time to grow closer as a team, she said.
“You have to relax and stay confident to play at states. It’s a big tournament and anything can happen. You just have to stay positive,” Iacona said. “I hope that this year I can shoot in the 70’s. I know that I am capable of it. I just have to believe. I also hope that the boys can post a good number as a team.”
Kristick, Holloway and Parker will make their state tournament debuts and all three players said they are looking forward to the experience.
Kristick has made a name for himself this season, performing at a high level as a freshman. He said he has high expectations for himself and the team at states.
“If our team plays to the potential we have, then we will have a good chance in competing for the state title,” Kristick said. “For myself, I’m using this year to gain some experience that I can use in the years to come. I still expect that I will be able to compete with the upperclassmen there, but still understand that I’m only a freshman.”
Holloway said it takes consistency, perseverance and discipline to compete at the state level.
“Golf is played as a team, but each of us contributes individually. My goal is to play well and finish strong for my team,” he said. “I hope to gain experience playing at the state level and improve my game in preparation for my senior golf season.”
Parker wants to shoot in the 70s the first day of competition and assist his team in advancing to the second round. He hopes to play up to his capabilities and help the team shoot a low overall score, he said.
“It takes a lot of hard work, talent, dedication, desire and passion to compete at the state level and succeed,” Parker said. “We are striving to advance to the second round and finish as one of the top teams in the state. We also know that if the team plays up to [its] full potential then there is always a possibility of winning and becoming state champions.”
The 4A/3A schools will compete on Monday and the 2A/1A schools will take the course Tuesday for the semifinal rounds. The top 40 percent of teams and top 40 percent of individuals from each group will advance to the final round on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
Having the state tournament on the University of Maryland course benefits Western Shore teams, Decatur Coach Jim Krall said. Decatur is at a disadvantage, he said, because his golfers are used to playing flat courses.
“The Decatur team is extremely talented and can hang with the best of them, if they use good course management and club selection. One or two practice rounds can not compare to players who grew up playing hilly courses,” he said. “The Decatur golfers must practice hitting shots with the ball well above and below their feet, as well as downhill and uphill lies. If they can master the changes in elevation, they can slam dunk the competition. Nonetheless, Coach [Don] Furbay and I are extremely proud of everyone and look forward to an exciting state tournament experience.”