Geneseo girls, boys take regional golf crowns

Claudia Loucks
For the Republic
The GHS Girls’ Golf Team members who competed and won at Regional are, from left: Georgia McKelvain, Keely Roberts, Addie Mills, Taylor VanHoutte, Olivia Seei and Lexi Manthe.

Even though it didn’t look good in the beginning for the Geneseo Lady Leafs golf team at the IHSA Regional, the GHS team stepped up to claim a team victory. The regional meet was held Sept. 29 at Deer Valley Golf Course in Rock Falls.

Geneseo scored 382, ahead of rivals Kewanee, 406; and Dixon, 421. The three teams advanced to sectional competition on Oct. 3 at Baker Park Golf Course in Kewanee.

When asked to comment about his team’s victory, Coach Jon Murray said, ‘Yes, we couldn’t let the boys do it without us!” (The GHS Boys’ Golf Team won their Regional competition on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Valley View in Cambridge.

Murray said he is “very proud of the girls and how they dealt with adversity. There was a rough patch there for awhile, but they were able to get everything back under control which says a lot about them and their ability to come though for their team. I’m just very proud of them.”

The Lady Leafs had five players finish among the top 12 golfers. Keely Roberts, a sophomore, led the team with a fifth place 87; senior Georgia McKelvain, 97, eighth place; junior Addie Mills, 98, ninth place; junior Taylor VanHoutte, 100, tied for 10th; sophomore Olivia Seei, 102, placed 12th; Lexi Manthe finished with 104.

It was a rough start for the Lady Leafs and Coach Murray said he thought his team may not even finish in third place, “but they did regroup and got back on track and finished strong.”

There were 12 teams competing at Class 1A Regional.

Boys Golf

The GHS Boys’ Golf Team captured the IHSA Class 2A title last week, an accomplishment that had not happened since 2015.

The GHS Boys’ Golf Team won the 2022 regional title. In the photo are, from left: Head coach Scott Hardison, Connor Dillie, Samuel Robinson, Hayden Moore, Tayt Hager, Bryson VanHoutte, Drew Kelly and assistant coach Ryan Kelly

Geneseo was the host team for the contest held at Valley View Club in Cambridge, which is not the home course for the Maple Leafs.

Coach Scott Hardison explained, “Country View in Geneseo is our home course, but the IHSA requires an 18-hole course for regionals. The IHSA reached out and asked us to host the meet at Valley View. Valley View was great to work with and really laid out the red carpet for the boys at the Regional. The teams were greeted with a big sign as they pulled into the parking lot and the staff of Valley View treated everyone great all day.”

Geneseo was the #1 seed gong into the regional and they made a late push on the back 9 to capture the regional title.

“We were down 2 strokes to Galesburg, (the #2 seeded team coming into the regional) with six holes to play,” Hardison said. ‘My assistant and I got to each of our top four players and explained the circumstance and how it had basically become a match-play situation with Galesburg.”

“We had to make up 2 strokes between the four golfers in the last 6 holes,” he explained. “We were actually able to make up 7 strokes over those holes and won by five.”

Hayden Moore, a GHS junior, led Geneseo with 77, which tied him for third place individually; Senior Tayt Hager and sophomore Bryson VanHoutte each shot 81s and tied for seventh place; and senior Samuel Robinson had 82 and tied for 10th place.

The top four Maple Leaf golfers all carded an 82 or lower to lead the team to a 321 score and a five-stroke lead over Galesburg’s 326. Dunlap finished third with 341.

Hardison said, “Our sectional is loaded with really good teams. We have faced several of these teams already this season at different Invites and I think our schedule has gotten us to this point. We just need to play some of the best golf of the year on Monday (Oct. 3 at Coyote Creek in Bartonville) and we will be in the mix for the title.”

There were eight teams competing in the Class 2A Regional.