Loyola boys golf head coach Tim Kane said he’s more hands off with this team than he’s been in recent seasons.
He said that he trusts his talented — and experienced — players will make the correct choices on the golf course.
So far, that methodology has worked.
After capturing a regional championship last week, the Ramblers qualified for the Class 3A state tournament Monday at Glencoe Golf Club by posting a 10-over 298 to place second. The top three teams at the sectional tournament advanced to The Den at Fox Creek Golf Course in Bloomington this weekend.
Loyola tied for the lowest total, but the Ramblers lost a scorecard tiebreaker to Glenbrook South. New Trier took third with a 301. All three teams competed at the Glenbrook North Regional at Sportsman’s Country Club last week.
“To be honest, I’ve had to do less coaching than in years past,” said Kane, who’s in his 13th season. “This team is really mature on the golf course. They don’t stress out. If they do have a bad hole, they know they can right the ship, play well and put up a good score.”
Junior Chip Savarie led Loyola with an even-par 72 that tied him for second. Glenbrook South senior and Miami (Ohio) recruit Charlie Nikitas was medalist after carding a 69. Despite being 3 under through 12 holes, Savarie said he simply was happy to help the Ramblers move on to the next round.
“I gave up a good amount of strokes at the end, but we made it,” he said. “That’s all that matters to me.”
Savarie, who was followed around the course by golf coaches from Michigan and Northwestern on Monday, suffered a tough break last year. Not only did the Ramblers miss out on qualifying as a team by three strokes, Savarie lost out on a chance to advance as an individual in a playoff.
“That was a bummer,” he said. “I’m excited to go this year.”
Seniors Reb Banas and Connor Prassas shots matching 74s to tie for sixth place. Senior Jack McGuire’s 78 was the fourth and final score to count for the Ramblers. Junior John Kryscio (80) and senior Kevin Meehan (83) rounded out the lineup.
Loyola last played at the state tournament in 2014 and tied for ninth. The Ramblers took third in 2011. Loyola’s last state title in boys golf came in 2001.
“We want to play our best, but we don’t have any expectations,” Prassas said. “We just want to play golf and have fun.”