FAIRFIELD — One last hoorah.
That’s what the Burlington High School boys golf team got Wednesday.
Burlington, which finished fourth in the Class 4A state tournament last October in Cedar Falls, was allowed to play in one spring tournament.
The Grayhounds made the most of their opportunity, winning the Southeast Conference Tournament at Fairfield Golf and Country Club.
Burlington not only won the team title, it did so convincingly. Despite having not played competitively in seven months, the Grayhounds carded a 307 total, beating runner-up Fairfield by 19 strokes.
The Grayhounds also collected four of the six all-conference honors — Tomas Rascon was second with a 74, Nate Spear was third with a 75, Tyce Bertlshofer was fifth with a 78 and Mateo Rascon was sixth with an 80.
Also for the Grayhounds, Brock Dengler shot an 82 and Dayton Walsh shot an 88.
Burlington made the most of its last hoorah.
“I played pretty good. I had a lot of good shots today,” Tomas Rascon said. “I’m so glad we got to play today.”
“The other teams definitely have a little bit of an advantage, but we still should have played better,” Mateo Rascon said. “It was nice today. I’m glad we got a chance to play.”
“We have been waiting for this ever since state last fall,” Spear said. “It was fun to get in one more tournament together as a team.”
“It was fun to kind of pick up where we left off last fall,” said Bertlshofer, who is playing tennis for BHS this spring. “I haven’t played much this year. The biggest thing was my alignment. Once I found that, I hit some really good shots and made some putts.”
BHS head coach Brian Mumm, who is asol the Grayhounds’ boys tennis coach, wasn’t sure what to expect since most of the BHS players haven’t played since October, while players from the other five schools have been playing for two months.
“In the van ride up here they were a little too excited,” Mumm said. “They’ve been looking forward to this since since December. I told them last week to get out and play a few times, but that’s been really hard this spring.”
Bertlshofer had the hot hand for BHS, carding one of his best rounds in the past calendar year. That included six fours on a windy day on a course the Grayhounds hadn’t played before.
“The second nine I hit it a lot better,” Bertlshofer said. “I went to Arizona with Nate over spring break and played there. That really helped me a lot.”
“Tyce did really well today,” Mumm said. “He was really hitting it well.”
Tomas Rascon put together a solid round, including a 36 on the first nine hole. That included a birdie on the third hole.
“I hit it right and had to punch it under the trees to 15 feet and drained the putt. That really got me going,” Rascon said.
“Tomas did really well,” Mumm said. “I can’t wait to see what he does this fall.”
Mateo Rascon struggled to find his swing, but still finished in the top six to earn all-conference accolades.
“I just didn’t hit it with any consistency today,” Mateo Rascon said. “I struggled on both nines. I was super inconsistent with all my shots today.”
Spear, who will play for Drake University in the fall, started strong, but struggled on the second nine. He three-putted six for a double-bogey, but finished strong with a birdie on the last hole.
Despite his struggles, he still finished third, just three shots behind medalist Roman Roth of Washington.
“I missed a lot of short putts and just kind of lost my focus,” Spear said. “But I finished with a birdie and made all-conference, so I guess that is pretty good.”
For the Grayhounds, it was one last tournament together before they all go their separate ways.
“It was one last hoorah, the icing on the cake,” Mumm said. “It was really good.”
Matt Levins is a sports reporter for the USA TODAY Network in Burlington, Iowa, who has covered local sports for 31 years. Reach him at [email protected]
Southeast Conference Tournament
At Fairfield Golf and Country Club
Yardage: 5,582; Par 71
1. Burlington, 307; 2. Fairfield, 326; 3. Washington, 335; 4. Keokuk, 379; 5. Mount Pleasant, 383; 6. Fort Madison, 387.
1. Roman Roth (Wash.), 36-35—71; 2. Tomas Rascon (BHS), 36-38—74; 3. Nate Spear (BHS), 36-39—75; 4. Sam Wheaton (Fair.), 40-37—77; 5. Tyce Bertlshofer (BHS), 39-39—78; 6. Mateo Rascon (BHS), 40-40—80.
Burlington — Nate Spear, 36-39—75; Mateo Rascon, 40-40—80; Tomas Rascon, 36-38—74; Brock Dengler, 42-40—82; Tyce Bertlshofer, 39-39—78; Dayton Walsh, 46-42—88.
Fort Madison — Tyler Wade, 41-42—83; Brady Wade, 61-48—109; Brennan Ulik, 46-55—101; Emmett Kruse, 49-49—98; Aidan Pennock, 54-51—105; Oliver Santiago, 52-53—105.
Keokuk — Jordan Sisk, 41-41—82; Nick Profeca, 49-46—95; Bryor Lindner, 45-50—95; Jayden Thomas, 57-53—110; Alex Capaldo, 55-52—107; Brayden Picton, 54-56—110.
Mount Pleasant — Nick Matheney, 41-47—88; Reece Coffman, 44-44—88; Nate Dismang 46-51—97; Grant Willham, 53-65—118; Ben Meador, 67-61—128; Izaac Zihlman, 57-53—110.