The Oregon golf team is at the halfway point of the season and is showing signs of being a leader in the Big Northern conference.
“We’re really balanced,” Oregon coach Jim Spratt said. “We have four guys that average between 40.5 to 42.1 (nine holes).”
Those four are Taylor Brubaker, Carson Buck, Ben Gardner and Mitch Nehrkorn. That group has shown it is capable of competing with any BNC team other than Byron, whom the Hawks will face in home match on September 23.
“Byron is the class of the Big Northern,” Spratt said. “They will contend for the (1A) state title. They only lost one kid off a team that got third in the state last year.”
Oregon faced Byron at the Lena-Winslow Invite earlier and finished second. The conference is especially tough this year, with a golfer from Burlington-Central earning a scholarship to Indiana and one from Richmond-Burton going to Wisconsin.
“There are four or five kids in our conference that might break par,” Spratt said. “It will be interesting to see where we fit in.”
Spratt has had his hands full coaching the largest Hawk roster in recent memory, with 24 participants.
“Golf season is different than other sports in that you really cram things in,” Spratt said. “There is not much time to practice and you have to be match-ready on the first day.”
Besides his lead foursome, Spratt mentioned Justin Provo, Billy Heeg and Trevor Lee as having a lot of summer golf under their belts. They are battling for the final two varsity spots.
“I’m really proud of all the kids in the program. They have good work habits,” Spratt said.
On Saturday, Oregon took second place in its own 10-team fresh-soph invitational. Large school power
Boylan won the meet, but Buck earned medalist honors with an 80 on the Silver Ridge course. It was his second straight year as medalist and even more impressive considering Oregon was the smallest school competing.
Another major accomplishment was Abby Scheidecker placing sixth in the same meet, while hitting off the same tees as the boys.
This Saturday, Oregon hosts the long-running Sally Wessels Invite at Sunset Golf Club in Mt. Morris.
Byron will be the favorite and Oregon will be in the mix for second place.
“We just need to keep in going,” Spratt said. “It’s been a good season and promises to get better.