Panthers qualify for State; Recker is individual champion

The Monticello boys golf team qualified for the state meet with a runner-up finish at the district meet May 20 in Burlington. From left are Bo Kramer, Ty Kehoe, Connor Lambert, Justin Recker, Kaden Kiburz and Blaine Brighton. (Photos courtesy of Pat Recker)

Justin Recker (left), posing with Monticello coach Curt Tauke, was meet medalist at the district meet.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     It has been a season of outstanding performances by the ultra-deep, ultra talented Monticello High School boys golf team, and the Panthers were able to put together another one in the district tournament.

     Monticello shot 330, led by Justin Recker’s medalist score of 75, and finished second in the Class 3A District Boys Golf Tournament May 20 at Flint Ridge in Burlington. That finish qualified the Panthers for the state tournament, along with team champion Solon, which shot 328.

     “It’s a great accomplishment for these kids,” Monticello coach Curt Tauke said. “We would have liked to beat Solon, but we’re extremely happy we were able to qualify.”

     It will be Monticello’s second state tournament appearance in the past five seasons, having last qualified in 2016 (there was no season last year). Previous Panther teams reached State in 1969, 1971 and 1980.

     Coach Tauke said this team’s “businesslike approach” served it well on the way to this State appearance.

     “I felt the kids didn’t just go out to win against lesser opponents and be satisfied with that,” Tauke said. “They were always looking to improve their team score.”

     Recker shot 39-36–75 to win the individual title by four strokes over Stetson McIlravy of Solon. Connor Lambert tied for fifth with an 81. Both Recker and Lambert would have qualified individually had the team not made it.

     “Justin played great,” coach Tauke said. “He was very consistent. He hit his driver real well, and stayed out of trouble. That was not an easy course. Connor also came through and played well.”

     Bo Kramer shot 85, Ty Kehoe had an 89, Blaine Brighton shot a 91 and Kaden Kiburz scored 105 for Monticello.

     The Panthers had hoped to get a few opportunities to play the course prior to the district meet, but because heavy rains and standing water caused the course to be closed on three different days, the team only made it there once.

     The Class 3A state tournament will be Thursday and Friday, May 27 and 28, at Elmwood Country Club in Marshalltown. Tee time both days is 10 a.m.

     “This team has talent,” the coach said. “But we need everybody to come together and play as well as we can as a group. If all the kids play well, we can have a solid and fantastic score.”


May 20

Class 3A District


(at Flint Ridge,



(State qualifiers in bold)

     1, Solon 328; 2, Monticello 330; 3. Mount Pleasant 360; 4, Vinton-Shellsburg 366; 5, Maquoketa 390.


     Justin Recker 39-36–75 (medalist), Connor Lambert 40-41–81 (tied for fifth place), Bo Kramer 46-39–85, Ty Kehoe 45-44–89, Blaine Brighton 49-42–91, Kaden Kiburz 58-47–105.


     1, Justin Recker, Monticello, 75; 2, Stetson McIlravy, Solon, 79; 3, Jack McCarty, Solon, 80; 4, Brayden Almquist, Vinton-Shellsburg, 80; 5 (tie) Connor Lambert, Monticello, 81 and Kayden Pendergrass, Mount Vernon, 81.




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