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Photo by ZACK WATERS/sports@intranix.com

Watseka’s Lukas Ball putts earlier this season. Ball recently advance to the State Finals in Bloomington.

The IHSA golf sectionals took place on Oct. 12. Watseka had four players competing in the event. For the boys, Lukas Ball, Jordan Schroeder and Leevi Bruens each participated while Natalie Schroeder took the charge on the girls’ side.

For the boys’ competition, which took place at El Paso, the cut was 82. Jordan Schroeder shot a 94 while Bruens a 106, making them each ineligible to compete at the state level. On the girls’ side of things, Natalie Schroeder was Watseka’s participant. The girls’ sectional took place at Spring Creek, where Schroeder managed to finish off her day with an overall score of 90. Heartbreakingly, the cut for the girls required a score of 89 to advance, meaning Schroeder would not be allowed to move on after falling short by just one stroke.

“My heart just breaks for Natalie,” said head coach Darin Hartman.

“You really hate to see things like that, but she really played well. She had a great season and will have another chance at state next year. I just can’t be more proud of her.”

One Watseka player did manage to advance, however. Coming in fourth place overall was senior Lukas Ball. Ball faced off against 112 other individual golfers and managed to shoot a 77 to move on and advance to the state finals.

“Lukas has really been our anchor all year. For him to get out with a 77 on a course like that with the cut at 82 is really great,” said Hartman.

“I’m really proud of him and the other two as well.”

Ball is the only player from Iroquois County advancing to the state competition. The IHSA State Golf Finals will take place on Oct. 18-19 at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.