SMITHVILLE, Mo. — Platte County coach Trevor Short’s morning stop at QuikTrip provided a prophecy for the Pirates. On his way to the Suburban Conference Blue Division Championships, he grabbed a Coke from the cooler and quickly headed for the bus.
Upon inspection, Short noticed his 20 oz. bottle featured Coca-Cola’s new Share a Coke and a Song promotion, which displays lyrics from popular songs. His selection the morning of Monday, April 25? Queen’s ‘We are the Champions.’
After the round Monday, April 25 at Paradise Point Golf Complex, Platte County indeed was the champions, winning the Blue Division crown with a team total of 332. The Pirates were 19 in front of Kearney, the 2015 champions by nine strokes in a reverse 1-2 finish.
“It was a random draw I didn’t even look at it,” Short said. “I noticed it when I got on the bus today. I told the boys I felt like it was an omen that was going to happen today, and well, it happened. We knew going into it we had a chance. The boys have been playing well so far this year and working hard. We always say hard work pays off. They found out today that, that happens. If you work hard good things happen to you.”
Platte County’s top four players were all in the top five, and Gary Hennessy also earned all-conference honors with his eighth-place finish.
Platte County’s Matt Madill won his first tournament of the season and his career with a 6-over 78 on the Posse Course, but the Pirates’ supporting cast provided more than enough. Jack Laderoute, a sophomore, came in second with a 9-over 81, posting his low score of the season.
“I just knew we had the team to get another conference title,” Laderoute said. “I knew I had to do what I know how to do to do great. Hopefully, everyone keeps this up through districts and sectionals and hopefully on to state.”
Only two golfers returned with varsity experience for Platte County this season.
Madill signed to play in college at Culver-Stockton earlier this season and always held the top spot in the lineup, while Payton Boekhout moved up the conference leaderboard from his 15th-place finish a year ago to the top five with a fourth-place finish. He shot a 14-over 86 to edge senior Jagger Zoellner, who finished in a three-way tie for fifth with an 87.
“We’ve been working hard,” Zoellner said. “That’s what it’s about. We came out when it’s much needed to play well, and we did.”
Platte County’s next action comes Monday, May 2 at Shiloh Springs Golf Club when the Pirates host the Class 3 District 8 tournament. The top two teams and the next 15 individuals qualify for the Class 3 Sectional 4 tournament set for Monday, May 9 at Liberty Hills Country Club.
Last year, the Pirates missed one of the two automatic team qualifying spots but had four golfers go through individually allowing them to play for a team score. Only departed senior Adam Muehlebach made the state cut with Madill missing out on his second straight trip to the Class 3 Missouri State Golf Championships by one stroke.
“I’ve always been really wild, and I was shooting mid-80s,” Madill said. “I’ve figured out if I work more on my short game, I’ll save a lot of shots. I still miss greens pretty often, but I get up-and-down (for par) almost every time. You just play more conservative. Play by greens and try to get up and down. You can shoot high 70s a lot by just keeping it in play.”