The Westfield High School boys golf team finished second in the IHSAA state finals with a lineup of two freshmen, two juniors and one senior.
The Shamrocks won Hoosier Crossroads Conference, sectional and regional titles. However, much of the credit goes to the unselfishness of the four seniors, starter Nolan Hall and fellow seniors Isaac Lutz, Owen Gift and Joe Sawyer, according to coach Josh Bryant.
“Even though three of them were not in the top five, we were as good as we were because these (seniors) put the team first,” Bryant said. “They supported the younger guys playing. When freshmen take varsity spots, it can really be a challenge. They handled it beautifully.”
The Shamrocks trailed Guerin Catholic by four strokes after the June 14 first round. Westfield went on to take a 10-shot lead during the next day’s second round and final round before falling by one stroke at Prairie View Golf Club. Guerin won with 602 strokes, one less than Westfield.
“The level of golf was spectacular,” Bryant said. “The course was demanding, and the kids rose to the occasion. The crowd was one of the larger ones for the state finals. It was down to the last hole and both players knew where they stood. It was really a match play situation. The competitiveness on both sides was awesome.”
Westfield and Guerin Catholic were tied heading into the last hole. Guerin Catholic’s Jacob Modleski birdied No. 18 while Westfield’s Alec Cesare finished with a par to give Guerin a one-shot victory.
“Alec had an 8-foot putt for birdie, and he just missed it,” Bryant said. “Alec played incredible, he shot 71. His play kept us in it.”
Westfield freshman Jake Cesare earned all-state honors by finishing 10th in the state among individuals with a 148 total. He had a scoring average of 73 for the season. Westfield’s other starters were freshman Will Harvey and junior Cam Kooi.
“Alec, who played No. 1 for us, had a mid-70s scoring average all season,” Bryant said. “We feel really good about the team we have coming back. We have a lot of depth in the program. We’ve very excited about the direction we’re headed.”