Homewood-Flossmoor boys golf is still alive.
H-F finished second in last week’s regional at Ravisloe Country Club with a 339 team score. Marist was first at 320.
“We have a great group of seniors, most of whom have been together for three or four years. To see them do what was needed in order to qualify (for the sectional) was great for the program and great for those kids,” coach Chris Stiglic said.
Vikings senior Jack Keigher was the medalist, carding a 75. That was three better than the field.
Ravisloe is the Vikings’ home course. Keigher said he usually struggles with the first two or three holes. At the regional, he was one under par after three and finished even par for the front nine. That set the tone for the day.
“You don’t want to say ‘I should be first’ but in the back of my mind, deep down, I knew that I was probably one of the favorites going in so it was always there,” Keigher said. “At the same time, I still had to play my game. I still had to do what I needed to do in order to come out with a victory.”
The class of 2024 buoyed H-F, with seniors Timmy Van Etten, Luke Romans and Kaiden Stine each shooting below 90. Stiglic said the experience they had in pressure situations was key.
“Those are my closest, closest friends. It’s a blast going to practice with them every day,” Keigher said. “It’s awesome doing this with the guys I like to be around.”
It was a bit of a redemption for the program. The Vikings finished fourth as a team each of the last two regionals. The top three teams advance to the sectional.
Getting over that hurdle was an important step, Stiglic said.
“It’s awesome. It’s great. Our team bond is incredible. All six guys who are playing, we’re all so close,” Keigher said. “We’re just looking forward to going down to sectionals, having a great time and hopefully putting up some great numbers.”
Monday will be the school’s first trip to the sectional since 2018.
This year it will be at Lick Creek in Pekin. H-F will be a team underdog on a course that offers less room for error than most.
“You’ve got to put the ball in the right spot off the tee. And some of these greens have a lot of false areas and if you’re above the hole, you’re going to be three putting, maybe four putting,” Stiglic said. “You’ve just got to be cautious.”
The Vikings aren’t expected to advance to state as a team but Stiglic believes anything’s possible if several of his golfers play their best. The aim is multiple sub-80 rounds.
H-F will go out early, Keigher hopes they can set the tone. He’ll have played the course three times before teeing off Monday morning.
Keigher just missed qualifying for state a year ago in a four-hole playoff.
“I hope I win,” Keigher said. “I know the course well compared to most of the other competitors. I think I have a pretty good advantage and I hope to come out of there with a win.”