REPEATING CHAMPS: Lovenberg brothers lead Pam Pack to title
Published 3:24 pm Thursday, April 21, 2016
Eric and Tony Lovenberg highlighted a strong team performance Wednesday that lifted Washington to its second 2-A Eastern Plains Conference Championship in a row. Eric Lovenberg shot a conference-best 74 and his brother finished with an 80. As a team, Washington shot a 342 to narrowly claim first over Beddingfield, which scored 350 as a team.
“Eric shot two over par. It’s been Eric and Tony running the show all year long,” said coach Jim Kozuch. Washington, throughout most of the season, has had a significant lead over the rest of the conference. “They’re both averaging just inside of 80, so they’re averaging around 78 or 79.
“They give us a little margin for error. They’ve put the team on their shoulders this year and did exactly what they needed to do to win the conference championship.”
Consistency has been the key to Washington’s season. The Lovenberg brothers have proven themselves reliable each time out, as has the rest of the team. No Pam Pack golfer shot in triple digits, making it the only team to do so.
Blake Parker shot a 95 and Robert Mayo and Josh Padgett each finished with a 94 to round out Washington’s afternoon.
The afternoon did not unfold without its fair share of adversity. The wind was blowing, which affected the shots of most players. The Lovenbergs were able to overcome that, which was important to Washington’s success.
“When you only have two players shooting inside 90, it’s really important,” Kozuch said. “They’ve been able to adapt all year long. I think Eric has shot one round in the 80s and everything else has been in the 70s. Tony has been the same way. He’s had two matches in the 80s. Their consistency has been the key. It will be the driving force to see if they make it to the state championship.”
The Pam Pack can now check off one of its preseason objectives. The boys had aimed at repeating as conference champions months ago, but their aspirations go much higher than that.
“The first goal is to win the conference because the top-three teams go to regionals,” Kozuch said. “The first box has been checked. Now the goal, obviously, is to be top three at the regional. That’s going to be very tough.”
Washington can punch its ticket to the state championship either as a team or the golfers can go as individuals. The goal is to take the entire team. Doing so will require more of the same.
“I’m sure that if those guys go out and play well, two of them will make the championship as individuals,” Kozuch said. “If the other guys play to their potential, there’s a chance we’ll get in as a team, as well. … Honestly, it just comes down to us all having a good day on the same day. Everybody on the team is capable of putting down a good score.”