Sacred Heart’s Gremlin golf team made history at Fremont Hills Country Club in Nixa May 14-15 at the Missouri State High School Activities Association State Golf Championships.
“I’ve done some research and we are the only school in MSHSAA history to win three straight golf championships,” said Sacred Heart Golf Coach Tom Dey at Tuesday morning’s All School Celebration Assembly for the golf team at the Sacred Heart gum.
Sacred Heart, led by individual state champion John Beykirch, shot a two-day total 641 to beat Drexel; by 19 strokes and last year’s state runners up Linn by 27 going in this year,” Dey said. “Linn finished second last year to us by 27 strokes,.” sad Dey, “They had everybody back. We beat them by 27 strokes again. They couldn’t stand up to our poise and skills our players showed.
“The newspaper kept trying to get me to take a prediction about a three-peat,” said Dey. “The first and only time I talked about that was on the podium at Fremont Hills at the end of the state. I cut loose with Three Peat, Three Peat!”
Dey told the News Journal all season that this was a different team, with different players, playing a different schedule and different teams.
Sacred Heart finished the season with an incredible record of 77-8, won the Sacred Heart Invitational for the second year in a row, tied for the title at the Hannibal Tournament, took fifth (their highest finish) in the S-C Classic, won the conference district, sectional and state.
“We had some big shoes to fill at our #4 spot with the graduation of Garrett Kelchner,” said Dey. “(Senior) Michael Prenger won the spot in his first season of varsity golf. You mgt think someone who made the state for the first time might fold a little, but Michael went out and shot an 89 the first day and had his best round ever on the second day with a 84.”
Prenger finished 30th individually with a two-day total of 1733.
Beykirch won the individual title with a 153. His second-day round of 74 was his personal best. Dey tied for the second for the second year in a row, with a 155 and was the medalist at the sectional. He finished in the top five at state all four years in high school.
Last year’s individual state champion, senior David Baldwin, finished ninth with a two-day total of 163. Prenger was 3th with a 173 ad James Lucchesi tied for 64tu with a 187.
“The talk of the whole tournament was the hole-in-one by James Lucchesi),” said Dey. “That was also a history maker. No player lad ever had a hole-in-one in MSHSAA history, and that dates back to the 1930s.”
Lucchesi aced the par-3, 198-yard ninth hole on the first day.
The Gremlins went into the state with two new players, who did not play on the past two state championship teams at Sacred Heart – Prenger and Lucchesi Senior Alan Bankovich, part of the past two state title teams at Sacred Heart, did not make the cut to play at district, ending his high school career.
This year’s state title will give the Gremlins five championship trophies in seven years, three state championships and two runner ups
Dey, who will step down as the Gremlin golf coach, had a long list of thank yous: He thanked Principal Dr. Mark Register for allowing him to coach the magical team; his assistant Jeff: Lucchesi, who teaches the finer points of the game, drivers Carla and Dallas Baldwin, Kathy Beykirch, who helped with coordinating the snacks for the players during matches, and Smith-Cotton Golf Coach BJ. Curry and Tipton Golf Coach Danny Dick for instructing hm how to coach a boys golf team.
Before Dey came to the podium, Register informed the crowd that the Lady Gremlin soccer team won their first-ever district championship with a win over St. Paul’s in the title match. The Lady Grems team took on Southern Boone County-Ashland in Class 1 sectionals Tuesday night at Clover Dell Park.
Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia News Journal.