Maryville boys golf hasn’t performed to its liking so far, but it’s looking to find its stroke heading into the bulk of tournament play.
The boys hit the green yet again April 11, this time at the St. Joseph Country Club against the Bishop LeBlond Eagles. The ‘Hounds fared well against the Eagles despite windy weather conditions, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the conference powerhouse that is Bishop LeBlond.
The Eagles took the match with a final score of 161-182. LeBlond was led by University of Kansas golf-commit Hank Lierz (39). The Spoofhounds were led by junior Trent Shell (43), and freshman Trevin Cunningham (44).
Although Maryville’s roster includes six seniors, Cunningham has come into a world of his own this season despite being a freshman. Coach Brenda Ricks raved about how much he’s meant to the program in his first year.
“He’s meant so much to this program already,” Ricks said. “He’s definitely prided the older guys to work harder. … As a freshman, to be where he is, I’m proud of him.”
Cunningham tied for 15th at the Midland Empire Conference Tournament April 15 with a total score of 98 over the 18-hole course.
Maryville had three golfers join the All-Conference list, led by senior Connor Durbin (86), Trent Shell and senior Matthew Madden, who tied for ninth with a score of 88. The Spoofhounds placed third as a team behind none other than Bishop LeBlond and new conference member St. Pius X.
“I didn’t shoot as well as I would’ve liked to,” Cunningham said. “I think I could’ve gotten up there with the rest of the team, but I just missed some funky shots that I normally don’t have a problem with.”
Those missed shots were attributed to a tough course played — the St. Joseph Country Club. The ‘Hounds have become accustomed to that course as they’ve played there twice already, and still have another match there later in the season. Ricks knew the difficult task at hand playing on such an intricate course yet again.
“I mean I think we’re capable of scoring a lot better than we did,” Ricks said. “There are always things we can improve on as golfers. … What I love about playing there is it gives us great experience with course management, something that we’re going to need for districts.”
Ricks went on to compare the Country Club course to the Shirkey Golf Course in Richmond, Missouri, that the Spoofhounds will play on for their district rounds. Fortunately for the ‘Hounds, they’ll have the chance to play on Shirkey in a match before the district tournament to get familiar with it.
Maryville is looking to lose strokes as it gets further and further into tournament play, but that will be put on hold for the time being. The Spoofhounds will have another chance to improve in a head-to-head match against Chillicothe April 18.
Durbin, who’s used to playing on successful teams after three seasons with the program, knows the ceiling that this team has going forward.
“If we play the way that we can, then I believe we can make it to state as a team,” Durbin said. “Personally, I think I should make it to state pretty easily, but I’m confident that we can do it as a team too.”