Lyons Township senior Jamie Smith excelled again at the West Suburban Conference Meet Sept. 28 at Village Greens.
“I always play better at conference and regionals,” Smith said. “(My season has) been really up and down. I’ve had some really good days and some really bad days. In general, the team has been playing pretty consistently.”
Smith (9th, 86) and seniors Cassidy Schwartz (10th, 88) and Maggie Grier (18th, 95) were top-20 medalists again this season and joined by junior Cassidy McNichols (14th, 94), followed by junior Mia Rago (98) and senior Siobhan Callahan (110).
The Lions (361) finished third and earned third in the final overall standings for the second straight year. They were just two strokes shy of their season-best 18-hole score.
“We’ve been peaking at the right time,” LTHS coach Gretchen Clay said.
LTHS is hoping to reach the 2A Lockport Sectional Tuesday, Oct. 11, with a top-three finish at the difficult Hinsdale Central Regional Wednesday at Oak Brook Hills. Last year, the Lions were sixth at regionals, but Smith and graduated Claire Frank-Carr advanced as individuals.
Smith shot 99 at sectionals. This season’s highlights include a lifetime-best, 1-over-par 37 at the La Grange Country Club home course Sept. 20.
“My putting saved me that day. Definitely my short game has improved a ton,” Smith said.
LTHS boys golf
Junior Patrick Akaniroj and his Lyons Township boys golf teammates are seeking better — and more of the same — results this postseason.
Akaniroj, senior Griffin Wasz and junior Max Campbell were the Lions’ three individual qualifiers for the 2015 Class 3A state meet after Akaniroj contributed to the Lions’ seventh-place finish in 2014.
“I wouldn’t say successful, but we’ve had a solid season,” Akaniroj said. “We’re still trying to keep pushing, trying to get better. We haven’t been able to turn the switch to start playing well, but we think we can get it done. We’re so close. It’s just that we need that little push.”
On Sept. 27, the Lions were disappointed in finishing fourth (327) at the West Suburban Conference Silver Division Meet at Prairie Bluff. The result left them third in the final overall standings after going 5-1 in duals.
Akaniroj (80) was the lone top-14 medalist, awarded 14th on a scorecard tiebreaker, followed by Campbell and senior Bryce Mitchell (81s), sophomore Nick Panos (84), senior Joey Larson (87) and Wasz (89).
“I feel like I’m trying my best. I think probably I could play the course a little bit smarter. I can manage my emotions a little better,” Akaniroj said. “I feel like I’m under a lot of pressure, but I’ve just got to stay positive.”
LTHS was expected to advance from Tuesday‘s Lyons Township Regional to the Loyola Sectional Monday, Oct. 10, where the top three teams advance to state.
In 2015, LTHS tied for sixth at sectionals but was only four strokes from third. The top 10 individuals not from those teams also advance.
“The last four rounds we’ve had way too many (out of bounds and water) penalties. We’re not clicking and not making putts,” LTHS coach Brian Kopecky said. “We have to re-energize and golf’s a game where you try to put the past behind you.”