The Creston/Orient-Macksburg golf team had plenty to celebrate at its postseason awards banquet at Crestmoor Golf Club Friday evening.
Team members and family members alike celebrated the boys team’s Class 3A state championship and junior Carson Whittington’s individual state championship.
Also worthy of celebration was the fact both the boys and girls teams earned Excellence in Academic Achievement Awards from the state for having a cumulative team GPA of between 3.0 and 3.24, showing that the Panther golfers excelled not only on the course, but also in the classroom.
Head coach Jan Lesan started the evening by honoring the team’s five seniors and their parents. Seniors on the 2013 Creston/O-M golf team were Keenan Reese, Kainen Somers, Trey Thomsen, Jacob Wolfe and Kenny Wynn.
Lesan noted that after adding in two freshman girls to the team this year, the girls team could actually compete as a team.
“The three girls we had are great young ladies,” she said. “They, without complaining, played as a group of three, and this year we got two extra girls out there that made a team for them. And they were competitive.”
Before letting assistant coach Kristopher “Kritter” Hayes introduce the boys team, Lesan took the time to acknowledge someone who played an important role in shaping the boys team into the team it is now.
“There’s one other person we have to acknowledge and thank,” Lesan said. “Coach (Jim) Calkins, five years ago, started with this group of boys. And through his work five years ago, they have continued. This group of boys has finished what he started five years ago.”
Hayes agreed with Lesan, saying without the work ethic Calkins instilled in the boys team, they would not have accomplished what they did this year.
“What an awesome season it was for everybody,” Hayes said. “We sat down at the end and we were thinking about all of the positive things throughout the season, and the top one was we were state champs. We’re the only team in 3A to be able to say that. That’s awesome. We were conference champs. We made it past the sectional to make it to the state tournament. That’s what the guys wanted to do. They were out here in the rain all spring long, hitting balls.”
Hayes noted how the competition just to be on Creston/O-M’s varsity team helped fuel the Panthers to their state championship.
He also said there’s no reason the Panthers can’t be right back in the mix for the state championship next year, despite losing Thomsen and Somers, who played on the state championship squad.
“When I stepped in here, to see the community support, not just for the golf program, but for all the programs here, it makes me proud to be here,” he said. “Keep that up and keep supporting these guys as they go through. I’m telling you, they can get more of these (pointing at state championship banner).”
Lesan thanked Crestmoor Golf Club, the groundskeepers and local media members for their support throughout the season.
(* — years lettered)
Seniors — Keenan Reese*, Kainen Somers****, Trey Thomsen****, Jacob Wolfe*.
Juniors — Maranda Ford***, Evan Nielsen***, Ashtyn Riley***, Hunter Sickels***, Sarah Waigand***, Maxx Walters***, Carson Whittington***.
Sophomores — Christian Groumoutis**, Sam Hartsock**, Coleton Hoepker**, Jordan Thompson**.
Freshmen — Madison Hance*, Shelby Palser*.
Participation awards — Dillon Bailey, Blake Eddy, Jaaron Kautz, Nick Noecker, Jacob Routh, Tyson Tucker, Albert Weis, Kenny Wynn.