MICDS accomplished a big goal by winning the recent Angel Classic.It’s one of the big tournaments with a strong field of both large schools and small schools that teams can use to gauge on what they need to do to get ready for the postseason.
Rams coach Steve Johnston believed this might be the year for his MICDS squad to break though the 17-year-old tournament hosted by St. Joseph’s Academy.
“Our attitude heading into the tournament was one of excitement. We had not fared well in the Angel Classic the past several years and I felt this team had the best chance to perform well.”
MICDS won the first place in the 17-team field with a team score of 334. Marquette was a distant second at 347.
The other team scores were: St. Joseph’s Academy 355, John Burroughs 356, Kirkwood 357, Westminster Christian Academy 368, Parkway West 371, Francis Howell 373, Cor Jesu 383, Nerinx Hall 388, Ursuline Academy 391, Villa Duschesne 406, and Incarnate Word Academy 468.
Johnston said the final team margin was a little deceiving.
“Though the score winning by 13 strokes may seem like a lot, it was a tough day,” Johnston said. “Each of the players I visited with over their first few holes started out struggling.However, every player was struggling. I just told them to stick to their game plan, try to avoid the big numbers by getting themselves back into play, and playing with their MICDS passion.
“Somehow, they perservered and came through with quality golf in the end.”
The Crystal Springs Quarry course provided the players a stiff challenge.
“There’s a lot of trouble on the course with water and high grass, but for the most part the kids stayed in the fairways,” Johnston said. “The greens were rolling well and that’s where we had the most difficulty. I know we had a few four-putts and many three-putts. Overall, with the rain the course had a few days prior, the course was fair and in great shape.”
John Burroughs’ Logan Otter was the medalist with a 73 and Westminster’s McKenna Montgomery shot a 77.
Junior Abby Schroeder and junior Nichole Shearing led MICDS with an 81, which tied her for third place.
“Abby Schroeder played well considering she had a triple on the card,’ Johnston said. “Uncharacteristically she had some trouble on the greens. She’s such a competitor though, she bounced back and finished strong. After the round she was still upset with her number as she felt she should have been in the mid-70’s.
“Nicole Shearing started her round on a par three and four-putted. But she’s a determined athlete, stayed focused and came in with a great score. Over the past two years her maturity has really helped her game, not getting too up or down during the round.”
Freshman Shannon Gould finished ninth with an 83. The score impressed Johnston.
“Shannon Gould’s 83 was excellent. Luckily she’s played in big events so she’s good at handling the pressure and her nerves,” Johnston said. “She’s really good around the greens and when her swing’s on plane, she’s a middle of the fairway and green’s in regulation player. She has a bright future ahead.”
Senior Ariana Desai’s play also caught Johnston’s eye.
“Ariana played her best round as a Ram to date,” Johnston said. “I’m so proud of the way she performed. With our team depth it’s been tough to balance who gets to play and when. But she’s determined and wants to get back to state again this year.”
It took a while when everyone had finished to determine the scoring and the final results.
That’s a time Johnston said he enjoys. Did the team get it done? The anticipation is keen.
“It’s fun once the round is over to watch all the players eyeballing the scoreboard as the coaches frantically add scores and post them,” Johnston said. “My players will huddled together crunching numbers in their heads. Once I knew we won, I pulled the team away from the crowd and told them how proud I was of them. Their poise and passion really came through.They were thrilled since it’s our first big tournament win in a long time.
“The victory means a lot. It means they can compete with bigger schools and also win against their rivals like John Burroughs, Villa and Westminster. It gives them needed experience, too, as we head towards districts, sectionals and state.