centralgolf2

Champaign Central golfers Justin McCoy, left, and Wade Schacht at UI Golf Course in Savoy on Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

Listen to this article

SAVOY — Justin McCoy and Wade Schacht have no trouble coexisting on the golf course.

One is the two-time reigning News-Gazette All-Area boys’ Player of the Year (McCoy). The other is a standout freshman (Schacht) who previously made waves on the Prep Tour.

Both are under the Champaign Central roof.

Both are shooting below 40 per nine holes entering Monday’s Class 2A Centennial Regional at the University of Illinois Course.

Any resentment from McCoy? Nope.

Any trepidation from Schacht? Not a bit.

They’re separated as far as can be in high school when it comes to age, but the McCoy-Schacht duo is all about producing positive golf results.

“We’re both blessed to have this wonderful talent and be good at our sport,” McCoy said. “We’re trying to push each other no matter what.”

“Needless to say, it’s exceeded all expectations,” Schacht added. “I knew we were going to be good. We definitely had some high expectations coming in.”

Among them is getting the Maroons back to the 2A state tournament after they missed out in 2018.

Such an aspiration is heavily dependent on McCoy and Schacht, who have taken turns holding down Central’s No. 1 position in the regular season.

By average, Schacht has been a little bit better at 38.4 strokes per nine. McCoy sits at 39.2 and admits to working through a “swing change.”

Their totals rank second and fourth locally, respectively.

“I’m not sure if my next three years here I’m ever going to have a teammate as talented as Justin,” Schacht said. “It’s nice coming in and having someone I know who could back me up if I have a rough day.”

No big brother-little brother dynamic is in play here just because McCoy is in 12th grade and Schacht in ninth. Nor because McCoy is a Maroons co-captain and Schacht isn’t.

“A lot of times on the bus ride over (to events) ... Wade will be like, ‘All right, boys, let’s do this,’” McCoy said. “And then he’ll kind of get us settled in.”

According to Schacht, once he showed he could not only hang with, but surpass many foes on the course, he felt more comfortable stepping into a leadership role for Central.

But that didn’t offer the most natural feeling in the world.

“It’s a little bit of an adjustment for me,” Schacht said. “I never played with a team. It’s always been me against the field. But now that I’ve got these guys ... my first question when I get into the clubhouse is, ‘How’d you do?’”

The answer, often, has included happiness for the Maroons.

Such as when they captured the Champaign County Tournament title last month, with McCoy and Schacht carding matching 76s to best all comers.

McCoy has attempted to emulate Conor Butts, a 2018 Central graduate who carded the Maroons’ best two-day total in their most recent state appearance as a unit.

“It’s not about yourself,” McCoy said. “It’s about getting the team the championship, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to play as a team with.”

This is the first and only prep season in which McCoy and Schacht will be teammates, so it’s no surprise much of their conversation centers around dreaming big.

Or perhaps it’s not all that big, considering what each guy is capable of with a bag of golf clubs.

“It’s going to take all of us putting it together on one day,” Schacht said. “I trust our guys to do that. ... We’re going to be a team you don’t want to see pop up in your regional or sectional.”

“Senior year, having (the regional) at home, got a great freshman by my side, got great senior brothers and friends all by my side,” McCoy added. “We’re going to win it.”

Playoff viewing

IHSA boys’ golf regionals take place Monday throughout the state. A look at where local Class 2A programs will compete:

CENTENNIAL REGIONAL

At U of I Golf Course, Savoy

Participating teams: Bloomington, Centennial, Champaign Central, Danville, Mahomet-Seymour, Normal U-High, Pontiac, Prairie Central, Rantoul/Paxton-Buckley-Loda, Urbana.

MATTOON REGIONAL

At Mattoon Country Club

Participating teams: Arcola/Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond, Charleston, Decatur MacArthur, Effingham, Lawrenceville, Meridian, Mattoon, Mt. Zion, Richland County, Paris.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL

At Lincoln Greens Golf Course, Springfield

Participating teams: Clinton, Lincoln, Maroa-Forsyth, Olympia, Rochester, Springfield, Springfield Lanphier, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Springfield Southeast.

Prep Sports Coordinator

Colin Likas is prep sports coordinator at The News-Gazette. His email is clikas@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@clikasNG).