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Out Fore Victory: Boys Golf Team makes another State appearance

Joey+Levitan+%2811%29+watches+his+ball+after+shot+from+the+bunker.+%28VIP%29
Joey Levitan (11) watches his ball after shot from the bunker. (VIP)

Joey Levitan (11) watches his ball after shot from the bunker. (VIP)

Joey Levitan (11) watches his ball after shot from the bunker. (VIP)

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Among many of the successful sports teams at Vernon Hills High School, the Boys Golf team recently concluded their season with a 10th place finish at the state finals.

“Anytime a golf team can qualify for state as a team, it’s been a successful year,” Mr. Healey, the team’s head coach, said. “We were hoping to do better than 10th, but we played very well on the second day, so overall it was a successful season.”

While they realize how big of an accomplishment a state qualification is, the team was disappointed with their 10th place finish.

I think that all of us expected to play a lot better at state, and we all know that we could have performed a lot better,” Sujay Voleti (11) said. “But at the end of the day, we still got to state as a team and that’s a pretty big accomplishment regardless.”

Brian Favia (12), the only senior on this year’s varsity roster and a four-year varsity member, agreed with Voleti’s assessment.

“I would say we expected more at state,” Favia said. “Our goal every year is to shock the state and take home a trophy. And for us to not even be in the running on the final day at state was kind of disappointing.”

While Mr. Crevier, assistant coach for the team, agreed with the disappointing result, he enjoyed the team’s resiliency during the length of the tournament.

“We knew that if we shot the same score as last year, we weren’t going to sniff third place because the competition was much stronger this year,” Crevier said. “It’s a two-day tournament. On day one, we came out and played worse than average; we had a rough day. What I was most impressed about is the way the boys responded to that.”

Despite being in last place after the first day of the tournament, the Cougars battled back to finish top 10 after a strong showing on the tournament’s second day.

Favia shot a two-under par in the Warren Invitational to lead the Cougars to one of their key victories on the season.

“From freshman year to senior year of state, I don’t think I took one day off,” Favia said. “For me, I hate to just sit at home when I know I could be working on my game. On a typical Sunday when we don’t have practice, I’ll probably get to the course around 8 a.m. and practice or play until around 5 p.m.”

Coach Healey raves about Favia: “He’s been a really strong leader for our group; he’s been the hardest working kid we’ve had. It’s going to be a great loss for the team when he graduates,” he said.

Favia’s 25-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole won the Cougars the North Suburban League Conference Championship, something he considers “the most memorable moment [this season].”

The team is still relatively young, with four juniors and one sophomore, along with Favia, making up the six-man roster for the state tournament.

Both coaches believe that the youth of the players at the Varsity level sets them up well for another run at the state title next year.

“We’re a young group; we only had one senior,” Crevier said. “Because we’re so young, we have a lot of kids returning. And anytime you have a lot of returning players, you are set up fairly well for the following year because you have that experience.”

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Out Fore Victory: Boys Golf Team makes another State appearance