Hawks not at best, still claim 2A sectional title

CLARION – The sigh of relief lasted the entire 45 minutes or so it took the South Hamilton boys’ golf team to return to Jewell Friday afternoon.

The Hawks weren’t great. Truth be told, they weren’t even good. But they survived and that’s all that mattered.

Shaky throughout the Class 2A sectional meet at the Clarmond Country Club, South Hamilton did just enough to win the team title and advance to this Friday’s district meet at Fox Ridge Golf Course in Dike.

The Hawks shot a 333 – their highest 18-hole total of the season – to nip Clarion-Goldfield (335) by two strokes. Roland-Story (350) joined the Hawks and Cowboys as a district qualifier.

“We just need to put it behind us,” South Hamilton head coach Mark Ullestad said. “Obviously we’re glad we got the sectional win … still, everybody knows that they can play better and they need to play better or Friday will be a long day. I pretty much made that clear on the way home.”

South Hamilton shot a 171 on the opening nine and sat in second place before picking it up over the final nine.

Trevor Ullestad finished as the runner-up with a 78. Medalist Chris Staudt also shot a 78 and took the top spot with a two-hole playoff win over Ullestad.

Braxton Risetter carded a 79 and placed third for the Hawks.

Jordan Toillion (86) and Jordan Bowers (90) completed South Hamilton’s team score.

The district at Fox Ridge will feature a slew of talented teams, including Waterloo Columbus and Denver. Mark Ullestad says it will take South Hamilton’s best effort to advance to the state tournament.

“We’ll have to have our best performance of the year,” he said. “We’ve shot a few 311s and that probably won’t be good enough. So everyone is going to have to shoot their best rounds for us to advance.”