Hood, Kerns finish in top 10 to advance to Auburn Sectional

MAHOMET — Another year, another round of success for Sidney Hood.

The Fisher junior golfer shot an 83 last Wednesday to finish fourth at the Class 1A Mahomet-Seymour Regional and advance to the Auburn Sectional.

It is the third consecutive year Hood has advanced to the sectional round, and joining her is Fisher boys golfer Jake Kerns, who carded an 88 to finish in eighth place to advance to the Schlarman Sectional.

Hood tied for second at the regional in 2016 and 2017 by shooting a 98 and a 94, respectively.

“Sidney is a very calm golfer,” Fisher golf coach Michelle Wagner said. “You never really know what’s on her mind, and I think that keeps the rest of the team calmer. So it’s great to see her do that, and she’s a great athlete all around. I think that helps her with her golf. Just in general, with having that mindset of not letting things get to her and keeping a straight head.

“Her worst score this year was a 54. That’s not bad at all. That was because she went home sick the day before. She’s really good at keeping a level head throughout the whole thing and just keeping the rest of the team calm.”

Hood shot a 97 and finished in a tie for 28th. She did not advance, as the cutoff for state was 89.

Hood’s average was one of the best marks in the area, as the junior shot an average of 46 per nine holes in 2018, and it is that level-headed approach on the course Wagner believes has paid dividends.

“Honestly, that is the game of golf,” Wagner said. “You can have all the skills in the world for a golf player, but if you’re not in the right mental space, whether that’s because you had a bad shot or something else is going on in your life at the time, you’re not going to have a good game.

“She’s an overall good athlete. For everything she does, she’s an excellent athlete. She took to it. She’s focused. If she knows she’s doing bad, she goes over to Tom Wilks at Willow Pond to correct some things. She takes the initiative to fix her swing or fix herself so that she’s in the right mental state and has the correct swing.”
Wagner said she believes if Hood can match the 83 she shot in the regional round or get a bit lower, she can make it to state.

Wagner was also more than happy with Kerns’ finish in Mahomet, as the underclassman has shown consistency and improvement during the season. Kerns shot a 97 at the sectional round and did not advance. The cutoff was 81.

“He was very consistent. Like Sidney, his worst day was a 53. His average for the year was a 46. He was very consistent. The majority of his scores were 44 or 45,” Wagner said. “I wasn’t really surprised (he advanced) with how consistent he was throughout the season. Between him, Sean (Ward) and Logan (Briggs), there were times when he had an off day and Logan or Sean would have an amazing day.

“I think he surprised himself a bit on the day he had. I wasn’t surprised, just with how consistent he was throughout the season, but I think he was a little surprised he advanced to sectionals.”

Ward, Kaitlin Marry and Grace Hansens are the three seniors Wagner loses to graduation. Along with Kerns, Ward was another consistent golfer the last few years for the Bunnies.

“Sean has always been one of my good golfers. I’m sad to see him leave as a senior, but excited to see what he does in his future,” Wagner said. “He loves the game, and he’s a great leader.”

Contact Zack Carpenter at zcarpenter@rantoulpress.com and on Twitter @ZackCarpenter11.

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