Central's date with state awaits

Central's date with state awaits

Get to know more about the Champaign Central boys' golf team — from left, (front row) Noah Brunson, Sam Watts, Justin McCoy and coach Mike Osterbur; (back row) Conor Butts, Hayden Cekander and Cage Sestak — before the Maroons tee off at the Class 2A state tournament today in Normal:

Justin McCoy didn't hesitate when asked if he could shoot another 67 like he did on Monday during the sectional round."I know I can," the sophomore said. "I'm not trying to sound cocky, but I shined at sectionals. I think I can shine at state."

Confidence isn't lacking among the Maroons, whose 302 on Monday was the second-best score throughout Class 2A.

"This is what we've looked forward to all year," senior Hayden Cekander said. "We've gotten prepared, and we're ready."

McCoy, Cekander, senior Conor Butts and senior Cage Sestak all played when Central tied for seventh at state in 2016."Last year, we went in all nervous," Sestak said. "This year, it's just another tournament."

Central won state in 1949 when it was Champaign High. Winning this weekend would make the Maroons the only Champaign County high school with two.

"We haven't had one in a long time," McCoy said. "That would really show that we're something special."

For Butts, this is his third trip to state after he qualified as an individual his sophomore year.Going with his fellow teammates sure beats going by himself.

"Bus rides are the best part of this whole thing," he said with a laugh. "A lot of sports debates take place."

Newcomers Sam Watts and Noah Brunson have fit right in for the Maroons.

"I knew we've had this in us all year," Cekander said. "It's just really started to click well during the postseason."