May 5, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

NORMAL – The John A. Logan College men’s golf team had the best team score of the day at 298, but it wasn’t good enough Monday afternoon as the Volunteers came up three strokes short of Champaign-based Parkland College at the Region 24 tournament held at Weibring Golf Course.

Parkland had held a five-stroke lead going into Monday’s final round. The Cobras now advance to the National finals in Plymouth, Ind. later this month.

The Vols did manage to qualify two individual players for the national meet – sophomores Michael Mencaccy and Connor Graves.

Logan’s regional loss is only its third in the last 13 years under head coach Tom Ferris and first since 2007.

“It’s a disappointment, no doubt about it,” Ferris said. “We don’t get dressed up to lose. Our goal every year is to win the regional and national tournaments. We just dug too big of a hole for ourselves early on in the tournament Sunday.

“We played better today, but it wasn’t good enough,” Ferris said. “Give credit to Parkland. They played very well. If you would have told me before today’s round that we would shoot a 298 and still come up three strokes short, I wouldn’t have believed it. Parkland kept improving. They deserve to go.”

Top player for the Vols Monday was Graves, who posted a one-over-par 72. Mencaccy and freshman Adam Woolley notched a 75. Freshman Christian Seaton turned in a 76 and sophomore Thomas Simpson carded an 84.

For the tournament, Mencaccy was fifth overall at 228, while Graves was sixth at 229 as both made the All-Tournament Team.

“I’d much prefer to be going to Nationals with all my teammates,” Graves said. “I’ll just shoot the best I can and hope to finish somewhere in the Top 10.”

Mencaccy felt similarly.

“It’s obviously an honor to go, but it’s just not the same,” he said. “I also hope to finish in the Top 10. Connor and I plan to represent Logan to the best of our abilities.”

Ferris said he doesn’t plan to make finishing second a habit.

“We’ll bounce back from this as a program and be strong next year,” he said. “I’m confident of that.”

Rend Lake placed third overall at the tourney at 933. Illinois Central was fourth at 938 and Lewis and Clark College was fifth at 940. Kaskaskia was sixth at 947. Also participating were: Lincoln College, Lincoln Trail and Danville.