Eagles advance to first regional

BLOOMINGTON — As the cards filed in, with each pen stroke, the Brown County boys golf team’s dream of making history came to fruition on Indiana University’s links.

Awaiting the results with 11 other teams, the Eagles saw their chances skyrocket with each score being added to the board.

After seeing Bloomington North’s 337 and Brownstown Central’s 335, they were locked in: the Eagles advanced to the regional as a team for the first time in school history by combing for 329 strokes.

“I know we weren’t necessarily the favorites, but we knew that there were five or six teams that compete for the third spot,” Eagles Coach Brad Baughman said. “If we could get all four guys clicking on the same day, we knew we could do this.”

Senior Aubrey Seaman shot 37 on the front and 40 for the back nine to lead the Eagles with 77 (+6). It was also his personal best.

“We believed we could get out, but it doesn’t feel real,” Seaman said. “To be the first team to ever do this is pretty surreal.”

Eagles freshman Parker VanNess totaled 78 (41-37).

In the No. 3 spot, Jake Dixon tallied 86 strokes (42-44), nearly 20 fewer than his performance in last year’s sectional.

“We kept our heads high and persevered,” Dixon said. “The bad shots didn’t get us down.”

Gavin Brown, a senior, finished with an 88 (41-47) to round out the Eagles’ scoring.

“Aubrey improved 10 strokes from last year, Dixon had an off year and improved significantly,” Baughman said. “Gavin Brown, our No. 4, took several strokes off as well. It was personal bests for all four players.”

For the No. 5 score, senior Wesley Weigal shot 116 (55-61).

“This is what every coach aspires for,” Baughman said. “The way this team is set up: with four seniors and an outstanding freshman talent, we knew we could do it.

“It means a lot to the program and the school. For me, it validates a lot of the hard work the boys have put in not just for this year, but the past four years. It’s a validation of their efforts and sacrifices to commitment.”

Baughman said his team’s short game paid dividends.

Bloomington South won the tournament with 294 and Bedford North Lawrence placed second at 304. South’s Nick Burris bested teammate Quinn Pizzo on a playoff hole for top medalist honors after both shot a 72 on 18 holes.

On Thursday, the Eagles will play at the Providence Regional hosted by Champions Pointe Golf Club in Henryville at 8 a.m.

Should they finish in the top three teams, or have a top-five low individual if they don’t make the team cut, the Eagles will play at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel at state June 14-15.

Baughman, in his 16th year heading the Eagles, said he wants his team to stay focused and continue to shock the opposition.

“We have to celebrate, but not fall in love with the fact that we’ve advanced,” he said. “We still have some great golf ahead of us. We don’t want to be content to just be there. We need to keep going, preaching to them to keep doing their best with every shot. If you do that, the score will take care of itself.”

Pull Quote

“It means a lot to the program and the school. For me, it validates a lot of the hard work the boys have put in not just for this year, but the past four years. It’s a validation of their efforts and sacrifices to commitment.” — Brown County boys golf Coach Brad Baughman