Senior Connor Prassas said he felt pressure last season to put up a good score on the golf course.
As a result of the deepest team in Tim Kane’s 13 seasons as Loyola’s head coach, that pressure has been relieved this year. Prassas even played Tuesday’s regional tournament — usually a nerve-wracking round — at Sportsman’s Country Club in Northbrook without much stress, he said.
“I wasn’t worried about our team making it out, so I was able to play loose,” said Prassas, the No. 1 player on the Ramblers who has verbally committed to play at University of Michigan. “I had confidence in my teammates shooting good scores.”
Prassas overcame four consecutive bogeys on the back nine to post an even-par 70 to tie for second place, and Loyola won the Glenbrook North Regional with a 7-over 287. Glenbrook South senior Kevin Paek earned medalist honors with a 67.
The Ramblers host the sectional tournament Monday at Glencoe Golf Club. They are looking for their first trip to the Class 3A state tournament since 2014. A year ago, Loyola narrowly missed out on advancing to the state tournament, finishing three strokes out of the third and final spot at Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club in Hoffman Estates.
All six of Loyola’s players shot 75 or better at Sportsman’s. Junior Chip Savarie tied for fifth with a 71, while senior Reb Banas and junior John Kryscio both carded 73s to tie for eighth. Senior Jack McGuire shot 74, and senior Kevin Meehan shot 75. Meehan’s score would have counted among the top four on both Glenbrook South and New Trier, the other two sectional-qualifying teams.
“We have seen this all year long,” said Kane, who’s been head coach since 2004. “Whoever is in the lineup at the time is going to put up a good score, and that top score can vary between a lot of our players.”
Banas is a good example of Loyola’s deep roster. He got into the lineup for the Catholic League’s tournament Sept. 29 at Cog Hill after Prassas sat out with a bad back. Banas, who Kane said has one of the best swings on the team, made the most of his opportunity by shooting a season-best 72.
“I hit a rough patch this season, but I turned it around,” said Banas, a Villanova commit. “I’ve been playing a lot better lately. It’s such a great group of guys, and all of them can shoot low scores. I know if I have a bad day, Connor, Chip, John, Jack, Kevin can all put up good numbers. It really is a strong team.”
1. Loyola 287
2. Glenbrook South 289
3. New Trier 291
1. Connor Prassas 70
2. Chip Savarie 71
3. Reb Banas 73
4. John Kryscio 73
5. Jack McGuire 74
6. Kevin Meehan 75