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By Kyle Dmello, Xavier junior
CEDAR RAPIDS – Tim O’Brien, in his sixth season as Xavier’s boys’ golf coach, has high expectations after a fourth-place finish last year in districts with one state qualifier.
“We already accomplished one goal this year by winning the (Mississippi Valley) Conference title in the first meet of the season,” O’Brien said. “Now I want my team to win its second straight Valley Division title and go to state.”
Only three teams can go to state in each division and, later this fall, Xavier will try to qualify when they host districts at Elmcrest Country Club.
Xavier won the 14-team season-opening MVC Super Meet by nine strokes. Ben Sagers was the meet medalist, shooting a 68. The boys also placed third in the CRANDIC tournament on Sept. 4, only losing by two strokes. Matt Junge was the meet medalist in the tournament, shooting a 73. The Saints also won the second-round Valley Division meet on Monday by 12 strokes over Linn-Mar.
The team had a record of 31-10 before the Valley meet and is ranked 11th in the state.
Returning seniors Robbie Thinnes and John Drahozal join Sagers and Junge on the team, along with junior John Ingwerson and sophomore Jordan Evan in the top six.
The team believes it can get to state.
“The whole team has put in a lot of effort this year and after a few good results, I believe that this team is capable of getting to state,” Junge said.