MORRISON, Ill. — He has to replace the top golfer in the Three Rivers Conference and two others, but Morrison coach Ben Sondgeroth says the Mustangs still can compete for one of the top spots in the expanded conference this fall.
“I think we should score in the mid-160s to 170s, which will win a lot of matches,” Sondgeroth said. “With the new conference (alignment), it’s going to be different shooting for the conference title. There could be four or five teams competing for the title. I think we have that ability. As we get rolling and out of the heat wave, I think we will be able to compete with anybody in the conference.”
Led by conference meet medalist Reid Hoffman, Morrison finished just one stroke behind conference champion Fulton last fall. But Hoffman graduated, leaving the Mustangs looking to find a new leader.
“We’re pretty young — two sophomores, three juniors and one senior on the varsity — but we have a lot of guys back who contributed,” Sondgeroth said.
Three players who competed on the Morrison squad that turned in a 333 team total at the conference meet are back: Colton Smith, Brock Smith and Ben Tegeler. Colton Smith, a junior, is on the varsity for the third year. He shot an 87 at last year’s conference meet after shooting a 93 in 2011. Tegeler, a sophomore, also shot an 87 last year, while junior Brock Smith (no relation to Colton) shot a 90 at the conference meet.
“Colton has really been playing well as of late,” Sondgeroth said. “He was fourth over the weekend at Rock Falls. He started slow (this season) but has picked it up the last few matches.
“Brock is really going to be consistent at the top. He’s steady in the low 40s, and I anticipate him being right there at number 1 and 2. Ben has had a couple of good scores and a couple I’d like to see him improve on, but he has a lot of talent. He’s really focused, and I expect he’ll put it together.”