Williamsburg poised for another strong golf season

Golf notes: Raiders return all six from last year's state team; CRANDIC next Wednesday

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Williamsburg has made itself a regular at the state golf tournament, qualifying for the Class 3A meet the last seven years.

The Raiders are looking for more than just eight straight.

Williamsburg is loaded for another good run. The Raiders return all six members from the state meet squad that placed sixth last year and ranks among the state’s best teams early in the season.

“They’re still hungry,” Williamsburg Coach Brad Schaefer said. “They want to improve on that finish.

“They are not content to just get to state. They want to make noise at state.”

Williamsburg is fourth in adjusted average for all classes and second in 3A. The Raiders have played three 18-hole rounds, averaging 312 as a team for a 158.30 adjusted average based on course rating before winning Wednesday’s quadrangular with 298 at Stone Creek Golf Club in Williamsburg.

Much of their success comes from a close-knit group that spends time together off the course as well. They have known each other since a young age and share a strong bond that propels them in competition.

“We all battle for each other,” Raiders senior Isaac Knock said. “We’ve been good friends for a long time.

“Even when you have a bad day, you battle for each shot for each other.”

Knock, Sam Buch, Ethan Jacoby and Dalton Van Etten form a strong quartet of senior leaders. Knock improved his 18-hole average to 70.33, firing a school record 5-under 66 for medalist honors Wednesday.

“Putting was the key,” said Knock, who had 11 on the back nine. “That carried me through (the round).”

Buch is second on the team with a 77 average before Wednesday. Jacoby, who finished 14th at state a year ago and was one of the Wamac’s top performers, is next at 79. The seniors have taken over the reins of the Raiders’ tradition.

“It’s their turn now,” Schaefer said. “They’ve had good examples in the past. They saw what it takes to be a leader. Those four have been around. They know what it takes.”

Knock finished sixth last season. He improved on his low round of 70, which was previously tied for first in 3A. He has his sights set on contending for a state title. He is the highest returning finisher.

“I’ve shot well early,” Knock said. “If I can keep the ball rolling, I should be able to do well.”

CRANDIC MEET

The CRANDIC girls’ golf meet will be held next Wednesday at Gardner Golf Course. The annual competition consists of a nine-team field of five Cedar Rapids schools, Linn-Mar, Marion, Iowa City High and Iowa City West.

“I think the field will be very competitive,” Kennedy Coach Julie Buerman said. “A lot of the teams are very close in scoring and it could come down to just a few strokes in the end.

“We all have some returning players and some new players so it will be interesting to see how the first 18-hole match will end up.”

Cedar Rapids Kennedy will attempt to repeat as team champions, edging West by one stroke. The Women of Troy return CRANDIC runner-up Jordan Amelon, who opened the season with a 41 at Brown Deer, and tries to match its title from 2015.

“We’ve got some girls ready that were a part of our team last year,” Buerman added. “There are also solid squads with returners. Prairie has a good solid squad and I’ll be interested to see how new players add to many of the teams in the area.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8679; kj.pilcher@thegazette.com

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