Metea Valley boys golf is off to a historic start to the 2021 season. The senior led Mustangs hope to qualify for the state meet for the first time in school history. Learn more in this Team Profile presented by Advantage Acura.
AMAN SHAH: “We’re all like really good friends in and outside of golf just having a group of kids on varsity all four years it really helps. We’ve all developed together we’ve all gotten better and now that were all seniors our teams looking pretty good since everybody’s been able to improve a lot.”
ARJUN VYAS: “We have a deep roster which is good because we’re able to depend on eachother and fall back on each other we may not have the best scores one day but we can at least have the trust that someone else will be able to fill in the gaps and make up that score.”
Seniors Leading the Way
Experience, chemistry, and friendship are the Big 3 phases for the 2021 Metea Valley boys golf team. Since the fall of 2018 you have heard the names Aman Shah, Arjun Vyas, Eli Oakes, and Johnny Kerns swing their way to success.
Fast forward three years later and the progress has taken a bigger step, leading to a historic season for the Black and Gold. This fall, the Mustangs have already captured the regular season DVC title and four tournament championships; including their first ever win in the McGonagle Memorial. Just recently the Aurora City Invite by just one stroke over Eola Road rival Waubonsie Valley.
JOHNNY KERNS: “Our games were where we wanted them to be and I think that we accomplished that and I think it’s been paying off very well ad it’s a great thing for our team and our program. That was a key factor of playing better this year and winning these tournaments.”
PAT BRUSVEEN: “They come ready to go they talk the course they talk the plays that they should make and each shot and each opportunity they have they’re thinking about it as opposed to much younger golfers especially freshman who come in they just see the ball and hit it take whatever shot that it is.”
Head coach Pat Brusveen has had the privilege of coaching these key contributors for all four years. In that time, he’s seen growth beyond just the results on the course.
“It’s really shown its way the last year and a half or two because we’ve started to have younger players that they’ve kinda taken on a more leadership role. Now they’ve really kinda taken that leadership to a new level and as you mentioned it they obviously play well but their leadership has been significant important to our success.”
It’s not just work during the season, this group of Mustangs have put the time in all year round.
ELI OAKES: “It took a bunch of practice in the offseason just continuing rounds over rounds and going to the dome during the winter and just keep putting in the work.”
That work is finally paying off in a major way where in past seasons the team came close but no cigar. In 2019 the Mustangs did not finish in the top 4 at Regionals, but four individuals did punch their ticket to sectionals.
2020 followed with a third-place finish in the Naperville Central Regional but only two teams and four individuals were able to move on to sectionals because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year every golfer knew it was time to take that leap.
“We’ve been super close to winning a lot of tournaments but sometimes the dice don’t fall the way you wanted to. We’ve been sitting under the mud a lot and it feels good that we’re finally able to show out and hopefully we’re able to keep that going and make it to state this year.”
Sights Set on State
State is headliner of the four huge tournaments left on the Metea golf schedule, but to take that giant step it all starts with the DVC Championships right around the corner followed by regionals and sectionals.
“It’s kinda almost like a do or die scenario where for example regionals if we don’t play well at regionals we might not advance to sectionals, and I think in one sense it puts on more pressure but it makes it more fun every shot counts for something. It’s kinda like a culmination of like how you’ve been playing all season.”
“They’re mentally ready they played a million tournaments they’ve played a million individual things in the summer so it was nothing specific that they need to say I gotta do this or I’m gonna change this or improve they just gotta be mentally ready to and go and they will be.”
Reporting for Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Patrick Codo.
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