Coziar will be lone Highland golfer to represent the Bulldogs at Class 2A State Tourney

Highland High School Athletics

Sidney Coziar was the only Highland golfer to qualify for the Class 2A State Golf Tournament at Hickory Point Golf Course in Decatur beginning Friday.

She shot an 81 at the Normal Community West Sectional to take 15th place overall.

“She had a string of holes where she was two under (par) for six holes and just was playing very well,” Highland coach Jordan Keeven said. “She had two maybe three holes she didn’t play well and the rest, she played some really great golf.”

The Highland girls just missed qualifying in the team competition of the O’Fallon Regional last Thursday, finishing in fourth place behind rival Triad, which placed third to take the final sectional qualifying spot. Highland finished the tournament with a score of 347.

Mia Emig and Brooke Hunsche, competed individully at sectionals. Kalei Gold also qualified with an 88 but was eliminated in the regional playoff with Hunsche, so she did not make the sectional trip.

All three players made the cut last Thursday (Sept. 28) at O’Fallon Class 2A Regional in Shiloh at Tamarack Golf Course, but the sectional was a decidedly tougher challenge.

Despite getting only one player through to the state tournament, Keeven was very pleased with how her players performed.

“They had a lot of good shots, a few bad holes and they recovered pretty well and I was proud of their performance,” Keeven said.

On Friday, Coziar, a junior will make her first trip to the Class 2A state tournament in Decatur and will look to make her mark there.

Keeven believes Coziar has a pretty decent chance of placing at the state tournament this weekend.

“So, looking at some of the scores (in Class 2A) in the area for the sectionals, I’m kind of thinking she’ll need to shoot around 80,” Keeven said. “She can certainly do it but she’s going to need to stay focused and play a smart round.”

The Highland boys competed at the Class 2A Sectional at Berwick Golf Club in Mt. Vernon.

It was a challenging day that ended in disappointment for the Bulldogs boys team as HHS golfers Braden Schopf and Noah Cooper both finished well short of qualifying for next weekend’s Class 2A state tournament in Normal. at Weibring Golf Course.

Shropf, a junior, who qualified for sectionals in Class 2A Tournament in Centralia last Wednesday, shot an 80 for the day.

“Braden hit it really well and hit the green and I don’t think many other kids hit the ball as well as he did,” Highland coach Brendan Barghetzi said. “That’s just golf when you have two, three, or four bad holes, chipping and putting kind of hurt him. Talent-wise, he’s right there with everybody, so if he just takes a few things and learns from today he’ll be right there all year next year in every tournament he plays.”

Cooper, a sophomore shot a 91 on the course.

“So, he’s learning the game as a sophomore and it’s his first time in sectionals, so the pressure’s new to him as well and he pays a lot of tournaments,” Barghetzi said. “Bu this is just a little different with a one-day qualifier and having qualifier when you’re that age, one really blown hole is kind of tough to come back from.

“He had a really big blown hole early and it was kind of tough to come back from but hit some good holes after that.”

On Sept. 27, Highland just missed qualifying for the team sectional tournament with a fifth-place finish at the Class 2A Centralia Regional at Greenwich Country Club in Centralia. The Bulldogs shot a 329 as a team.

“The regional had way too many of the good teams in it and we didn’t have a good day there. But it was good to be able to bring Braden and Noah,” Barghetzi said.