Missed 2020 season and Saturday rain delay can't keep Northview boys down

Apr. 11—All last week, Northview High School boys golf Chris DeHart dreaded every time he read or heard a weather forecast.

"Terrified" was how DeHart described his reaction to countless predictions of rain for Saturday, the day of the season-opening Northview Invitational at Forest Park. You see, he did not want his hard-working players to miss their first match since 2019 because of COVID-19 wiping out the entire 2020 schedule.

But when Saturday afternoon arrived, sure there were sprinkles, but not enough to prevent the start of the 18-hole tournament. And while most of the golfers were on the back nine, a relatively brief downpour did cause a delay that sent everyone seeking temporary shelter.

By 5:15 p.m., the rain subsided and tournament officials ordered golfers back on the course to finish play. And when all was said and done, the host Knights edged Greencastle 314-316 for the team title and Northview senior Benjamin Goshen earned medalist honors with a 72.

"They were anxious to get out there and prove what they could do," DeHart said of his Knights. "That whole wave [of hard rain] came through here and thankfully it only lasted about 20 minutes."

Mother Nature apparently was smiling on Northview and the other 12 teams competing Saturday after they suffered through a year that included a global pandemic and arguably the weirdest presidential election of all time.

"I was so grateful that we got this in," DeHart added. "It was a blessing."

"I thought [the weather] was going to be a lot worse," Goshen told the Tribune-Star. "But the wind wasn't as bad as I thought and the greens were still hard. Since I play here as my home course, I kept it acceptable on the greens."

Goshen said his group had just finished the 15th hole and was preparing to tee off on No. 16 when the showers hit, so he didn't really play in any bad weather.

Placing behind the Knights and Tiger Cubs in third and fourth respectively were Terre Haute North (326) and Terre Haute South (331). Individually, Clay City senior Justin "Hoppy" Hopkins finished two strokes behind Goshen at 74 and South senior Ryan Liebermann came in third at 75.

"We had two players who had never played in a match before, but we did OK," North coach Chuck Payne assessed. "I expected a little better, but they got off to a bad start on the front [nine] and hit three or four balls out of bounds."

"We did pretty well," South coach Chris Cassell noted. "Ryan Liebermann led us with a 75, which was pretty much expected. We've got a bunch of new guys who don't have much experience.

"I'm proud of the way they handled themselves [in the face of distractions]. We only had one score in the 90s."