In preparation for his senior golf season at Shepard Shane Wright participated in junior tournaments at Cog Hill this summer and came away with an improved game.
Those strides have been paying big dividends for the Astros so far.
Wright shot 37 twice last week. The first score came in Shepard's four-stroke dual victory over Stagg on Monday at Palos Municipal while the second helped the Astros capture their own triangular at Water's Edge the next day.
“Shane is definitely the team leader for us,” Shepard coach Mike Oziemkowski said. “He’s definitely improved his short game and putting game since last year, and that’s how he’s lowered his scores this year. He really improved his short game at the junior tournament at Cog Hill.
“He had a good week and is definitely hitting his stride. Shane is a really solid golfer who is capable of consistently shooting the types of scores that he shot this [last] week.”
To be sure, Wright didn't do it alone. Also starring for the Astros were Nick Bush, whom Oziemkowski views as the team’s No. 2 golfer, and Johnny Korbakes.
“With those three golfers, I really think we have a shot at winning [the South Suburban] conference this season,” Oziemkowski said. “Both Nick and Johnny have been golfing in the low 40s, which definitely makes us a competitive squad.”
And despite losing a tough 163-171 SSC Red match to Evergreen Park on Friday at the Meadows, Oziemkowski believes his team will be ready for Monday's conference tournament.
“We did well this [last] week,” he said. had a tough loss against Evergreen Park, but overall we played pretty well.
"We’re going into our conference tournament with high hopes. And Shane definitely has the potential and a good shot of making sectionals.”
Jake McFarland and George Kazanacki each carded a 42 for Stagg in its loss to Shepard. The Chargers also dropped a 159-178 verdict to Joliet Township in a SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue match at Inwood on Friday.
Stagg fell short of Lockport, 184-224, in an SWSC Blue encounter at Broken Arrow last Monday.
Shepard (7-4, 3-2) split a pair of SSC Red matches last week as it fell 2-0 to Reavis on Monday but rebounded to post a shutout of its own, 8-0, over Oak Lawn.
Logan Dolehide’s hat trick spurred the Astros' victory. Corry Williams and Mike Kaczmarczyk added two goals apiece for Shepard.
Stagg (3-3-2) battled St. Laurence to a 1-1 standoff last Monday in Palos Hills as Sami Kizlaitis scored for the Chargers with 34:32 left in the match. John Zajac assisted on Kizlaitis' tally.
Jake Robertson's hat trick was the key element in Chicago Christian's 5-1 Metro Suburban Conference East triumph over Guerin Prep last Tuesday. The win followed a 1-0 loss to Oak Lawn on Monday and left the Knights with a 3-8 ledger.
Christian is 1-1 in conference action.
Shepard defeated Andrew 3-2 last Wednesday as the No. 1 doubles team of Rachel Habbal-Brooke Zielke notched a three-set win in the deciding match. Habbal then joined her sister Rhonda on Saturday to help the Astros beat neighboring Chicago Christian 7-5, 6-4 at the Shepard Doubles Quad.
Also performing well for the Astros at the latter were twins Kelsey and Taylor Domina, who teamed up to capture matches against the Knights, Morton and Stagg.
Shepard took second at its own triangular last Tuesday with 109 points. That score left the Astros well behind champion Reavis (143) but comfortably ahead of third-place Argo (68).
Delivering event victories for the hosts were Joanna Rangel in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 34.76 seconds), Becca Gleich in the 500-freestyle (5:59.90) and the 200-free relay foursome of Rangel, Gleich, Annie Rangel and Grace Spindler (1:56.98).