Even under a new format that made advancing a team to state golf difficult, the Bishop LeBlond boys made it look easy Monday at Fairview Golf Course.
Senior Jeffrey Johnston won medalist honors and guided a group that includes three freshmen and a sophomore to the Class 3 District 8 team title with a round of 301, and all five Eagles advanced to the Class 3 state tournament next week in Farmington, Missouri.
“It’s an honor, especially with all these teams here, to be on top,” Johnston said. “As long as you play well, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose as long as you qualify to the next level at state. That’s the goal.”
Johnston shot a 1-under 71 to defeat St. Pius X’s James Dintino II and freshman Pat Johnston, his younger brother, by three strokes. Sophomore Sam Schoeberl was one back at 3-over par, while Tim Johnston, the third of the brotherly trio, finished with a 9-over 81.
Freshman Davis Jungbluth finished 11th with a 13-over 85.
The top 18 finishers advance to state, a difference from past years that included team and individual qualifiers.
“I know those young guys were super nervous today,” LeBlond coach Mitch Girres said. “They still go out and perform well. They surprise me everytime we go out.”
With the whole group qualifying, LeBlond earns the right to try and win a third-straight state title in its third different classification. LeBlond won in Class 1 in 2019 and in Class 2 in 2018. COVID-19 forced last year’s season to be canceled. LeBlond’s state title wins were by 45 and 66 strokes, when Brooks Jungbluth, Hank Lierz and then-freshman Jeff Johnston finished 1-2-3.
LeBlond also won in 2016 and finished third in ‘15 and ‘17.
“Missing out last season really stung because we had a chance,” Jeff Johnston said. “We’ve been looking forward to this year forever. Just focus on next week, keep playing well, and hopefully that will be good enough.”
Maryville will be represented by three at state in Ethan Scott, Trevin Cunningham and Jacob Scott. Lafayette’s Sam Ryan and Savannah’s Zach Vega also made the cut.
LeBlond will be just one of four teams eligible for a state title with Notre Dame (Cape Girardeau), Blair Oaks and Westminster Christian qualifying at least four golfers.
Class 3 state will take place at Crown Point Golf Course.
Class 5 District 4 results
Central senior Daniel Love finished with a 2-over 74 Monday at Winterstone in Independence to cement a spot at the Class 5 championship.
Love and teammate Andrew Wheatley survived a tough district that saw a cut line at a 10-over par 82. Only 11 golfers in Class 5 shot better than Love’s 74 on Monday.
Class 5 state will take place at Sedalia Country Club.
Class 1 District 4 results
South Harrison will send four to state in search of a title thanks to top-eight finishes from Austin Lasher, Quinn Taylor, Cole Taylor and Quinton Johnson.
Mid-Buchanan’s Noah Hughes won medalist honors with a 4-over round at Excelsior Springs Golf Course and will be joined by Lane Ellison.
Other area qualifiers include: Stanberry’s Landon Marticke and Collin Sager; Mound City’s Gage Salsbury; Gallatin’s Hayden Jumps; Maysville’s Kolby Sweiger and Trey Scoles; and North Harrison’s Wade Briggs.
Class 1 state will be held at Freemont Hills Country Club in Nixa, Missouri.