Another week, another poll — another move up for the Center Grove boys golf team.
Ranked No. 3 in the preseason, the Trojans have done nothing to invalidate the lofty projection. They have, in fact, done everything to justify it — to the point where they are no longer No. 3.
They’re now No. 1.
Ranked No. 2 in the previous poll, the Trojans are unbeaten through the first quarter of the season. But it’s not so much the quantity of wins that stands out as the quality.
Story continues below gallery
Center Grove has played in three invitationals and won all three. Easily. Including two in one day.
On April 11, with a full varsity squad, the Trojans made the most of their first-ever invitation to the Hall of Fame Boys Golf Tournament in Peru. They scorched the field of 18 with a tournament-record score of 292.
Runner-up Carmel was 11 strokes back with a 303.
On the same day, with a mix of varsity and reserve players, the Trojans won the 12-team Floyd Central Invitational. Most of the participants had full varsity teams.
A week later at Hickory Stick Golf Club, Center Grove won the nine-team Trojan Classic with a tournament-record score of 283. The nearest challenger was Plainfield with a 309 — 26 strokes off the winning pace.
Besides the invitationals, Center Grove — which has had a number of meets rained out, including Saturday’s Legends Invitational — also has a dual meet win against Perry Meridian.
Apart from obvious talent, the Trojans’ chief strength is depth. No one or two players lead the way. On any given day at any given tournament, any given starter could earn medalist honors.
Seniors C.J. Heck, Zack Carrabine, Hayden Martin and Ben Surface are tournament-tested veterans, as are junior Tyler Rankel and sophomore Ethan Shepherd. Freshman Noah Gillard also has given the Trojans, who finished sixth at last year’s IHSAA Boys Golf State Finals, a huge lift.
But boys golf isn’t the only Center Grove team conspicuous in the state polls.
The Trojans boys track and field team is ranked No. 2, the girls track team is No. 15, and the softball team is No. 8 in Class 4A.
FC player earns league honor
Franklin College freshman Kyle Sauley has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week after earning the clinching point in the Grizzlies’ 5-4 tennis win Saturday against Defiance.
With the victory, Franklin clinched the No. 2 seed in the upcoming HCAC Tournament.
Sauley won the deciding third set of his No. 6 singles match. He started the day by winning at No. 3 doubles with partner Robby Woehrle.
Fore! a good cause
Registration is underway for the fifth annual Steve Hollenbeck Memorial Golf Tournament at Timbergate Golf Course in Edinburgh.
A fundraiser for “Edinburgh Dollars Scholars,” the event is a remembrance and celebration of the life of the late Steve Hollenbeck, a longtime coach and teacher at Edinburgh Community High School. He died in February 2011.
Cost is $80 per player or $320 per team. Registration forms are available at Timbergate.
For more information, contact Bill West at 812-374-6763 or Jon Price at 812-552-4542.