Boys' Golf Coach of the Year: STM's Mark Tate
Why he’s Coach of the Year: Third-year head coach directed the Sabers to the area’s best finish at state, seventh in the Class 1A meet. The team had a top-10 placer, his son Christopher, who tied for sixth after opening the meet with the fourth-best 18-hole score ever recorded at state (68).
Season highlights: Guided the Sabers to their 10th consecutive Sangamon Valley Conference championship, a meet in which two Sabers tied for medalist honors. The team followed with a regional title on a day three squad members broke 80 for the first time this season and then placed third at sectional, qualifying for state for the eighth time in the last nine years.
A few of my favorites: “Da Pork Chop” at Ditka’s Restaurant in Chicago ... Last text to one of my sons, Ian, Matthew or Chris ... First job was summer help for Pioneer Seed Corn Co. in Champaign, with a lot of my friends ... Role model, my father who taught me how to compete and give 100 percent at whatever I do ... 2011 Chevy Equinox ... Stephen Colbert ... Steve Stricker ... Bob Gibson ... “A Good Walk Spoiled” by John Feinstein ... “The Big Bang Theory” ... On my bucket list, to play the Old Course at St. Andrews with my three sons, to go to the Masters and to visit the Alpine countries, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
About Coach Tate: “He gave up a lot of his time to help us with our swings and take us to tournaments. Most of all, he was an incredible role model. He had a servant’s attitude and was selfless. He always encouraged us when we were going through struggles in our game. He showed us how to have fun but let us know the right time to be serious. Nothing made us happier than pleasing him, but you did not want to upset him. Nothing was sadder than the look on his face when he was disappointed, and nothing could have driven us more to perform our next round. He has made a huge impact on my life and in the lives of everyone on the team.” — Wes Kramer, STM junior golfer