Boys golf off to ‘best start in history’

Redhawk+junior+Aidan+Schulz+nears+the+end+of+the+9th+hole+in+a+varsity+match+against+rival+Naperville+North+at+Crest+Creek+Golf+Course+on+Aug.+30.++

Jake Pfeiffer

Redhawk junior Aidan Schulz nears the end of the 9th hole in a varsity match against rival Naperville North at Crest Creek Golf Course on Aug. 30.

Jake Pfeiffer, News Editor & Copy Editor

After defeating Metea Valley by a score of 155-160 on Sept. 13, Naperville Central’s varsity boys golf team is 6-1, with four wins in the six tournaments they’ve played in during the season.

Central currently sits at second place in the DVC standings, behind Neuqua Valley, the only school they’ve lost to.

In IHSA golf, eight members of each team compete in a match, and the lowest (best) four scores are counted. These scores are then added up, and the team with the lower total score wins. 

“When you have a team that has only four [good] players, that puts an incredible amount of pressure on those four players,” varsity golf head coach Barry Baldwin said. “When you have depth as a team, if you’re having a bad round, you hope one of the other four guys is sliding in to pick up your slack.”

Central has this depth in the “back end” of their 10-man team,  with talented players such as the team’s Seven, or seventh-best golfer, senior Brady Schultze.

“We’re very deep,” Schultze said. “We always have a guy that can put up a number and help us stay consistent and win tournaments.”

Having a surplus of quality players can also help change the mindsets of higher ranked players, like Central’s Two, junior Matt Sims.

“When you’re playing bad, you can think, ‘the team can still pick me up,’” Sims said. “If [one of us does] bad, we have other guys that we know are gonna do good because everybody on the team has the potential to go really low,” Sims said.

This is a different experience for Sims, and other members of the team who have grown up competing individually at youth golf tournaments.

“It’s really interesting to play like this, because golf is normally individual,” Sims said. “But [in school golf] you’re rooting for other players. It’s a cool experience.”

Baldwin has seen more players than just Sims turning their attention to their teammates.

“The attitude of this team is very positive,” Baldwin said. “Everybody is rooting for each other and caring for each other, and that leads to great success.”

The early victories that attitude helped achieve have raised the team’s expectations for the year.

“We’ve realized that as a team we can do some special things this year,” Schultze said. “We’re going to keep getting better as a team, as teammates supporting each other, and I think we can go a long way with that.”