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SPOTLIGHT
Monarchs confident for 3A regional

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Monarchs confident for 3A regional

Published on -5/13/2012, 5:21 PM

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By KLINT SPILLER

Son of Karla Spiller

Thomas More Prep-Marian boys' golf coach Bryan VonFeldt said his team felt pressure heading into last year's regional, but that isn't the case this year.

The team is more experienced after qualifying for state last year -- the first in VonFeldt's six-year coaching tenure at TMP, and based on previous results, the Monarchs should be the favorite to win the regional.

"There's not quite as much pressure knowing that we were able to accomplish it last year," VonFeldt said.

The Monarchs will compete against Beloit, Gypsum-Southeast of Saline, Hoisington, Minneapolis, Russell, Salina-Sacred Heart and St. John's Military School.

The meet is basically a showdown between the North Central Activities Association and the Mid-Central Activities Association, as only St. John's Military School isn't a member of either league.

It will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday at Russell Municipal Golf Course, and the top two teams and the top five individuals not on a qualifying team will be eligible to compete at the state tournament May 21 in Goodland.

VonFeldt admitted he hadn't seen every team that will be at the regional, but he said he feels good about this team's chances.

"I'd like to think if we play well that we'll have a pretty darn good shot of winning the thing," VonFeldt said.

Russell is likely to be the Monarchs' top competitor for the team title.

Led by senior Jordan Hecker, Russell won the NCAA league tournament Thursday with a score of 330 on their home golf course. Hecker won the individual title with a 70.

"We know (Hecker) can go out and go long, and with the rest of their team playing on their home course, I'm sure they'll put up a pretty good fight," VonFeldt said. "They'll be ready to roll, so we've got to go out and play well."

However, TMP has topped Russell at several meets this year, and TMP is coming off its own league championship, winning the MCAA with a 299 on the Par 64 course in Ellinwood.

VonFeldt said the top of his lineup for the regional tournament will be the same as it has been all year long, but the bottom will be different due to some eligibility issues.

Senior Brady Rohr, a returning state medalist, junior Kade Megaffin and senior Kelton Schuckman have been solid for the Monarchs this season, shooting in the low 70s at different points during the season.

Senior Justin Gottschalk, senior Brett Chrisler and junior Garrett Stoecklein also will be in the lineup.

"We kind of started off a little slow, but we've continued to get better every tournament and every week," VonFeldt said. "I feel pretty confident with where our guys are at right now."

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