Almost exactly six hours after the first pitch, the Knoxville and Pella Christian baseball teams exited their respective dugouts with a 19-9, 10-8 split in a marathon night of Little Hawkeye Conference action in Knoxville.
Local boys golf teams took three of the top four spots in Monday’s Pella Christian Invite. Using the knowledge of their home course and the meet’s individual medalist to their advantage, the Pella High boys took first place with a 323 at the Bos Landen Golf Club in Pella; putting them in front of host Pella Christian, who was runner-up with a 332. The PCM boys were defeated for the first time this season, placing fourth and shooting a combined score of 338 – two strokes behind third-place Williamsburg.
Despite the minor setback, Mustangs’ head coach Michael Smith says a tournament this challenging at this point in the season is good for his team.
“It’s always good to go up against the best competition. There’s a lot of teams here that have already moved on out of their Sectionals and are going to Districts. So it’s not like we’re playing some cupcakes or anything. We get to see a bunch of really good golfers, and it puts our kids in situations that they’re going to run into [during the postseason],” said Smith. “Playing a course like this, to me, is still always beneficial – even though the kids struggled today. You’ve got to play tough courses. It helps make you want to improve, and I think it’s beneficial.”
A short-staffed Knoxville boys team finished in 15th place with a combined score of 420. Individually, Pella High’s Sean Rennich had the low round, as his 18-hole score of 75 led three Little Dutch golfers in the top ten.
This is really the first year I’ve started scoring and the first time I got a first place [finish]. It feels awesome just to know that all of your time and effort put into it is starting to pay off,” said Rennich. “With three of us shooting in the 70s and three of us in the top ten, I think we’ll have a lot of good thoughts coming away from today and I hope it can continue into Friday so we can go to State.”
PCM’s Hunter Van Veen was meet runner-up with a 77. Several of the squads that made up the 19-team field took part in the meet in the midst of postseason tournament play. Pella Christian head coach Jim Dingeman said his team’s performance was an important step in building their confidence before the next round of the postseason.
“This is the first time we’ve gotten six scores in the 80s or lower – no other team did that today – yet my guys are still not quite satisfied,” said Dingeman. “Every guy was telling me ‘you know, I had a three-putt here’ or ‘ I hit a bad shot there’ and ‘I need to get a little bit better’ and the fact that they continue to shoot to get better makes me really happy. We’ve got two days to get better before Districts and hopefully take a trip to State.”
Pella Christian and PCM will face each other once more at Thursday’s District Meet at Lake Panorama, while the Pella High boys will return to action for their District Meet on Friday.
click the link below to view a spreadsheet with complete meet results
Pella Christian Invite 2012
Monday’s Little Hawkeye Conference girls and boys tennis tournaments certainly featured some surprising outcomes, particularly on the girls’ side – where Grinnell knocked off defending champion Pella Christian – while the Pella High boys’ road to victory was unexpectedly lopsided.