116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The start of the boys’ spring golf season has presented challenges.
Solon has risen to overcome each of them, whether it is other top area teams or the uncooperative conditions.
The Spartans are one of the state’s top Class 3A teams after a state runner-up finish last year. They have won each of their first three competitions, including a season-opening team title at the Solon Invitational last week. Solon topped 2A power West Branch by 17 strokes.
“Our invite has been a good barometer for early in the season,” Solon Coach Adam Stahle said. “They knew they needed to play well. It helps being on your own course for that early showdown there. It showed me they were ready to go.
“Any coach will tell you they try to get their players prepared but until they compete in an event you don’t know how they are going to respond. It was good to see them come out and do as well as they did.”
Solon followed with wins in a conference triangular against Dyersville Beckman and Vinton-Shellsburg and a dual with Maquoketa. Solon’s 154 nine-hole team average and 18-hole adjusted average of 329 ranked second in 3A to state champion Gilbert.
The Spartans have been motivated to improve last year’s state performance and have reaped the rewards of offseason work.
“I think that made them hungry over the summer and the kids put in a lot of work, not only in the summer but in the fall and the winter,” Stahle said. “Even doing multiple sports, they found time to get into simulators and hit balls during the winter. You can see it has paid off. They have started the year really well.
“I think they showed me what we had talked about the first couple weeks of the season, trying to come out and play well right away. I think they did that.”
At the home invitational, three Spartans finish in the top five and five were in the top 11, including senior Frank Haege and sophomore Jack McCarty, who tied for second. Mac McCarty was fifth. Jack McCarty was the top scorer in the triangular and tied freshman teammate Isaiah Zoske for medalist honors against the Cardinals.
Jack McCarty leads the team with a 39.83 combined adjusted average with Haege close behind at 40.33. Zoske and Mac McCarty average better than 41.6. All six starters come in less than 47.
Stahle praised the team’s camaraderie and unity. Solon’s balance and overall talent is key to its success. If there were any doubts, the junior varsity squad shot 167 in a recent meet, which would have been a good varsity score in recent years.
“The caliber of competition that we have because we have the depth and quality of kids we have is something I haven’t seen in a long time,” Stahle said. “We have this competition within all of our kids that it’s a day-in and day-out grind.
“I think the two things are the team atmosphere they have developed, taking it upon themselves to be inclusive and making sure everybody is involved, and then the quality of the kids and competition within themselves.”
Solon will face more tests with upcoming events hosted by Tipton and Benton Community this week. The Spartans plan to hold an invite with Gilbert, Knoxville and Waverly-Shell Rock on May 3 at Cedar Rapids Country Club.
“We thought it would be a good barometer of how things were before getting into our conference meet and the postseason,” Stahle said. “Just an opportunity to play some more quality competition.”
CRANDIC meet set for Airport National
The annual CRANDIC girls’ golf meet will be held April 20 at Airport National Golf Course, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The event features high school teams from the Cedar Rapids and Marion Metro and Iowa City schools.
Cedar Rapids Prairie will host the 10-team event that includes Cedar Rapids Jefferson, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Cedar Rapids Washington, Cedar Rapids Xavier, Iowa City High, Iowa City Liberty, Iowa City West, Linn-Mar and Marion.
Washington won the team title last season and will attempt to repeat, led by sophomore Mya Messenger and freshman Jane Petersen. The Warriors have won their first two meets of the season, carding 184 to defeat Liberty, Dubuque Senior and Waterloo East Tuesday at Gardner Golf Course.
Prairie’s Addie Berg is the top returning placewinner from the 2021 CRANDIC. She was fourth. Berg owns a 40.55 nine-hole adjusted average through her first two meets of the season.