Franklin Community High School senior Jake Hash played with style, determination and grit Wednesday.
The Grizzly Cubs’ lone qualifier for the IHSAA Boys State Golf Finals finished in a nine-way tie for 27th place at Prairie View Golf Club.
Hash carded rounds of 75 and 78, giving him a two-day total of 153.
Playing in the first group Wednesday, Hash and those with him were able to make it around the course in a little more than five-and-a-half hours.
As he scooped his ball from the bottom of the cup on the final hole, Hash had the look of someone who had accomplished something no other Franklin golfer had done under the helm of coach Curt Holcroft in the past 10 years: Get to the state finals.
“The start I got off to wasn’t what I wanted, a bogey on the first hole, and I was kind of missing all over the place,” Hash said. “Plus, I came up short on some putts I should have holed.
“But then I kind of gathered it in and put my head down and played my game. It was wet but playable out there, and I didn’t think transition to the ball was any harder than normal.”
For Holcroft, Hash has been the ideal player from start to finish.
“Jake has been a pleasure to work with,” Holcroft said. “He’s been a kid that has been all about getting out there and constantly working at his game, plus conducting himself at all times as a fine young man who has done remarkable things over his four-year career.
“This is a gentleman’s game, and these kids conduct themselves on a high level 365 days a year. They’re representing their school and their community. They do a phenomenal job of doing that, and they really don’t get the recognition they so richly deserve.”
On the team side, Holcroft said it was heartbreaking for the Grizzly Cubs to miss qualifying for the state meet by only two strokes at the regional. But Hash’s advancement to the state finals helped ease the disappointment.
“But now after seeing Jake finish out his last hole as a Franklin high school golfer, it’s tough,” Holcroft said. “These kids become a part of my life and part of my family.”