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Season of high expectations underway for SHS golf

Carlinville High School golfer Carter Zilm, pictured lining up for a putt, won first place at Terry Park Aug. 17. Zilm shot a 36 over nine holes for the Cavaliers. Photo contributed.


Carlinville’s Carter Zilm wins first place at Palmyra match; Kristilyn LeVora leads all girls

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

The Staunton High School golf team has already proven that it possesses the potential to bring back its program’s glory days of the 1990s.

Led by the experience of seniors Broc Best and Preston Denney, the Bulldogs opened the 2023 season by shooting a 146 during their first match at Timber Lakes last week. It was at that point when the team knew it could set its standards high.

The boys took a step further at the Hickory Stick Invite, placing fifth in a 21-team field with a score of 318 at Wood River’s Belk Park. Best led the way with 77 strokes and Denney an 80, but the two captains needed plenty of support to accomplish such a result. Sophomore Bryce Coalson also posted an 80 and Freshman Owen Rizzi came through with an 81. Amazingly, after landing near the bottom of the South Central Conference in 2021, here were the Bulldogs in a deadlock with defending league champion and state qualifier Litchfield at Wood River. Furthermore, Staunton ultimately beat the Purple Panthers via the fifth player tiebreak. Luke Goldasich put up an 89 to help the Dogs clear that hurdle.

As Staunton prepares to take its best shot at what will most likely be one of the toughest IHSA Class 1A regionals this October, the Bulldogs hope to contend for and win their program’s first SCC title since 1998. Heavyweights such as Metro East Lutheran, Marquette and Father McGivney will most likely be assigned to that tournament. However, an optimistic Staunton bunch gave each of those mentioned teams a run for their money at Belk, barely losing the MELHS and Marquette while defeating McGivney.

Carter Zilm wins at Palmyra

Carlinville’s Carter Zilm added another individual victory to his resume at Terry Park in Palmyra Aug. 17, shooting a 36 over the course of nine holes.

Tate Duckels, Colin Pope, Cade Vinyard and Aaron Cordani joined Zilm in the top tier and posted scores that were nearly identical to each other. Duckels logged a 43 while Pope, Vinyard and Cordani finished with 44 strokes apiece.

Kurtis Killam also competed for the Cavaliers and shot a 52.

As a team, Carlinville lost to South County in a head-to-head dual, 156-167.

The girls’ side only consisted of six participants, with Carlinville and South County bringing forth three apiece. CHS junior Kristilyn Levora won that match with a score of 47 and finished 11 strokes above runner-up finisher and teammate Olivia Kunz (58). Gabby Lopez shot a 67.