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June 6, 2014

Logan boys golf snaps drought, wins sectional

Winamac’s Gruenig earns medalist honors.

Logansport’s boys golf team finally ended its decade-long sectional championship drought.

And the Berries did so in impressive fashion.

The Berries shot a season-best 320 to win the title by eight strokes over runner-up Rochester in idyllic conditions Friday at Dykeman Park Golf Course.

It was Logan’s 23rd sectional title, good enough for sixth most in state history, and first since 2004.

“I can’t be any more excited for our guys,” Logan coach Pete Lundy said. “We wanted to bring Logan golf back to the program that we know it is. These guys work so hard. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Winamac junior Adam Gruenig was the sectional medalist with an 8-over 78.

The Berries were led by a pair of youngsters, as sophomore Will Harvey and freshman Kennedy Achey each shot 79.

Seniors Matt Beeman (80) and Deion Rennewanz (82) were right behind, and junior Bryan Worthington added an 86.

Harvey defeated Achey in a one-hole playoff for sectional runner-up honors.

“We knew we had to come in here and shoot low 80s as a team,” Rennewanz said. “It’s great that we had two 79s, that really helped us. Especially from Kennedy, he did really well. We knew we had to have those low scores to win and we came out and did that.

“I left a lot out there. Shot an 82, that’s still good. But I still left a lot out there and I’ll work on it and come back for regionals to see if I can go for that goal and maybe get out.”

Lundy was happy with his squad shooting four scores right around 80 for the 320 total.

“I can’t say enough. Will’s been a solid player since he stepped on the team last year. Kennedy, I can’t even begin to describe how proud I am of him today. Being a freshman coming in as his first sectional he was as nervous as anybody on that first tee and for him to shoot a 79 is outstanding. And our seniors have been our foundation, our rock,” he said.

Rochester (328) and Rensselaer (340) also each advanced as a team to next week’s Lafayette Jeff Regional.

Winamac (341) missed advancing by just one stroke with a fourth-place finish.

“We could have found a stroke out there all day long,’ Warrior coach Scott Roudebush lamented. “We had a couple two-stroke penalties, a couple OB’s. We can’t put it all on one kid. I think every single one of them is putting it all on their shoulders, but you can’t do that.”

Gruenig lost in a playoff for medalist honors a year ago but was able to come out on top Friday.

“It’s really satisfying,” he said. “That was nerve-racking last year. I’m glad to just win it outright this year.”

Gruenig had been playing well of late which includes shooting a 76 at Rock Hollow recently. He overcame a shaky start Friday with a 6-over 40 on the front nine with a two-over 38 on the back despite a double bogey on the par-5 18th.

“There were times I was doing good hitting good shots and also some times were I wasn’t hitting it good,” he said. “I just kept grinding and kept focusing and it turned out how it did.”

Sophomore teammate Karsten Roudebush shot an 82 which put him in a playoff against Tri-County’s Dane Hardebeck for the final spot in the regional for an individual. But Roudebush had to scramble for bogey after pulling his tee shot a bit on No. 1 and Hardebeck had a nice two-putt par to advance.

“Good round out there today,” Scott Roudebush, Karsten’s father, said. “Really good round, just tough luck on his tee shot, got in the trees. He played well, I’m proud of him.”

Also for Winamac, Kyle Hettinger had an 85, Josh Tankersley 96 and Garrett Pesaresi 108.

The Warriors missed advancing to the regional as a team for the first time since 2008. They will return their entire team though next year as they had four juniors and one sophomore in their lineup.

Twin Lakes’ Kaleb Perry (80) also advanced as an individual, joining Gruenig and Hardebeck.

Pioneer placed 11th as a team (417) and Caston was 12th (441). Bryer Fritz shot a 100 and Parker Englert had a 101 to lead the Panthers. Donald Doan led the Comets with a 101.

The regional will be held at Battle Ground Golf Club on Thursday.

It’s the second year in a row the Berries will play in the regional as a team after the program had hit a bit of a rough patch.

“Three years ago when I met these guys, our seniors when Deion and Matt were freshmen, we started laying the foundation and groundwork for this,” Lundy said. “They got real close as a team three years ago and last year we made it out and missed it by a few shots of winning the championship.”

It was a season of ups and downs but the Berries have finished strong.

“Mentally it’s been a long year for our guys,” Lundy said. “They’ve worked so hard. They grind it out day in and day out, and their hard work is paying off for them and I can’t be any more proud of them.”

Rennewanz expects the program to continue its recent renaissance.

“When I first started we didn’t have a little guy league and we didn’t have a middle school team. As a senior we finally have that so it’s looking like the golf program is going to be doing better here in the future,” he said.

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