CEDAR RAPIDS - The Cedar Rapids Titans and Sioux Falls Storm have met in the conference title game in each of the past four seasons.
If the Titans have any hope to make it five, they will need to dig out of an ever-increasing hole.
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The fall golf season was almost three weeks into competition and Linn-Mar was finally getting pictures for its team poster.
The Lions weren’t concerned with posing for photos. They were focused on improving their golf game.
The dedication has paid dividends, helping Linn-Mar to a 39-2 mark and three event wins so far this season.
The Lions graduated their three top golfers from last season. Jack Recker was the lone returning all-conference performer from last year’s team that placed fifth at the 4A state meet. They are second in the Iowa High School Golf Coaches Association team rankings.
“They played a ton of golf together,” Linn-Mar Coach Bill Hoefle said. “Each got better in their own way. Some from instruction, going to their pro, and some went and just awesome.
“It’s been awesome how they’ve come together and played well.”
Linn-Mar has played well from the start, capturing the Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet title at The Meadows Golf Club in Dubuque. The Lions shot 307, topping Cedar Rapids Xavier by six strokes.
Conditions tested their resolve, causing a temporary delay and impacting the first few holes.
“The kids buckled down and said we’re out here, so we’re going to play and make the most of it,” Hoefle said. “I think that came from competing and doing a lot in the summer.”
The biggest victory came on the Lions’ home course. They won the Linn-Mar Invitational for the first time, firing 293 and beating runner-up West Des Moines Dowling by five at Hunters Ridge. No other team was within 14 strokes of the Lions.
“The MVC meet puts us in position for the conference, but the big one for me is we had never won our own tournament,” Hoefle said. “We always invite a lot of really good teams and it’s a good field. We shot the lowest round ever for Linn-Mar at Hunters Ridge.”
Linn-Mar leads the MVC with a 300 18-hole team average, ranking third overall in 4A. The Lions only trail Dowling in combined adjusted average.
Andrew Wood leads the way with a 71.33 average per round, which is third in the state. Jack Recker is second with 74 per 18 holes. Ben Greif (77.33) and Cole Yearling (79) give the Lions four scores under 80.
Recker won medalist honors at the Super Meet, while Greif was fifth and Wood tied for sixth. Wood also tied for third at the Warrior Invitational, tying for first at the Linn-Mar Invitational.
“I’m very proud of him,” Hoefle said. “I think he’s worked extremely hard.”
LINDWALL ATOP RANKINGS
Cedar Rapids Washington senior Frank Lindwall is ranked first in Class 4A, according to the IHSGCA. Lindwall averages 71 per 18 holes, shooting a low round of 68 to tie for first at the Linn-Mar Invitational at Hunters Ridge.
Lindwall, an Iowa State University recruit, also shot 35 in his lone nine-round event. Lindwall earned Mississippi Valley Conference Mississippi Division Player of the Year honors the last two seasons.
The annual CRANDIC golf meet, featuring the 4A teams from Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Marion, is set for Sept. 6. Cedar Rapids Prairie will host the meet at Airport National Golf Course, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Cedar Rapids Washington is the defending CRANDIC team champions.
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