Boys golf caps Sectionals run

Golf seems like sort of an afterthought compared to other sports: basketball, football, etc. Yet, golf is a fascinating sport, and one here at ETHS that we all should know much more about. Take this journey with me exploring the greens and fairways of the Evanston Wildkits boys golf program.

As of a Sep. 23 win against North Shore Country Day (NCSD),  the boys golf program finished the season with a 3-9 record in duals, accumulating  wins over Jones/Payton, Niles West and the aforementioned NSCD. In terms of tournaments, Evanston finished in tenth place at the Deerfield Invite, fourteenth place at the Wheeling Invite, fifteenth place at the Lake Forest invite, and fifth place at the Central Suburban League South Conference Championships — matching their performance from last year. More impressively though, the team finished in second place at the recent IHSA Regionals.

 I talked with Head Boys Varsity Golf Coach Jed Curtis to see what he had to say about the team’s ups and downs this season as well as the future of Evanston Golf.

Since Evanston is in one of the toughest divisions in the state for boys golf, having to deal with powerhouses like New Trier, Maine South and the Glenbrooks, the team’s fifth place finish at the conference tournament isn’t exactly representative of the team’s prowess; Evanston’s top four golfers shot a 333 in 18 holes. In fact, senior golfer Alex Vasquez shot an impressive 80 over those 18 holes individually, and junior Ryder Bellios was not far behind, shooting an 82. 

“For a senior I think, you know, he spends a lot of time with baseball in the summer so I think this was really seeing more of his potential,” says Head Boys Varsity Golf Coach Jed Curtis of Vasquez’s performances this season.

At IHSA Regionals the following week, Evanston’s second place finish as a team allowed them to advance to Sectionals, which had not happened since 2013. In that second place team finish, junior Jamie Young shot an 81, good for third place individually. Though the Wildkits were met with an eleventh place finish at Sectionals, Coach Curtis described the contest as the “best we’ve played all year” and a “great finishing.” Unfortunately, ETHS was unable to advance  anyone down to State; Bellios shot a 75, and just missed the cut to qualify by one stroke. As a junior though, he still has one more year to make that mark. 

With the Evanston boys golf season having now come to a close, it is safe to say that this year   was a memorable one for the program. The team held their own in a great conference, finished second at regionals, qualified the team to Sectionals, and even had one golfer come within a stroke of qualifying for state. Whatever happens next season, it will surely be a test for the team to follow up one as great as this.