CHANNAHON – Minooka finished second in the Southwest Prairie Conference in boys golf in each of the last "five or six" years, said head coach Brian Petrovic.
Some of those seasons, like in 2012, the Indians were the SPC's regular-season champions, but they lost their grip on the overall title in the conference tournament. The SPC uses a combination of regular-season points and tournament finish to determine overall season place.
There was no such disappointment for Minooka this season. After sweeping its SPC duals, Minooka won the conference tournament Monday at Prairie Bluff Public Golf Course in Lockport. The Indians carded a 308, edging out Plainfield North's 314.
"It felt great. It was really good redemption," senior Jason Chobar said Tuesday at practice. "We all knew that was the only thing that mattered at that time. We had to win it, and that's what we went out and did."
Kent Hudson led the Indians with a 74, scoring a 35 on the front nine and a 39 on the back. He placed second individually at the tournament behind Taylor Hollingshaus of Plainfield North, who had a 71.
"My putting was mediocre, but got the job done, so I was pretty happy with my round," Hudson said. "I hit probably 14 greens, so I hit the ball really well [Monday], so I was pretty happy. I just missed a lot of like 12-footers."
The tournament showing allowed Hudson to earn All-Conference recognition for the first time. He finished fifth in individual conference points with 18.5, trailing Hollingshaus with 39.5, Isaih Pina of Plainfield South with 34.5, Chobar with 24 and Vince Vazquez of Plainfield Central with 19.
"I missed out by three points my freshman year and something like that my sophomore year, so it's nice to be able to finally get an All-Conference," Hudson said. "I feel like I've played well enough, but just kind of I didn't have very good finishes at the tournament the past few years."
Chobar's 76 was good for third place at the tournament. He recovered from a 40 on the front nine to shoot a 36 on the back.
"Just started out kind of rough – triple [bogey] on the fourth hole," Chobar said. "Bounced back pretty well with a birdie on the next hole, and then I got out of the front nine with a 40. I was still hitting it well, so I knew that I could have a good back nine and try to turn it around for my team."
Minooka also counted a 78, with a 37 on the front nine, from Kyle Sheppard and an 80 from Ryan Johnson. Noncounters were Noah Lindmark with an 86, Dan Anfield with an 88, Steve Andreano with an 89 and Sam Smolkovich with a 90.
Sheppard, who finished ninth in individual points, and Anfield, who was 10th, made the All-Conference team.
"Another guy who probably isn't going to get the same amount of credit [as Hudson and Chobar] is Kyle Shepard. He's just been so steady for us this year," Petrovic said. "For the last couple of weeks, I don't think he's shot anything higher than 78."