Coach Jack Halpin with team members from left to right: Jackson Elstro, Nick Bavaro, Sean O'Grady, Nathan Anderson and Jack Neubauer. Not shown: Matt Denniston

Coach Jack Halpin with team members from left to right: Jackson Elstro, Nick Bavaro, Sean O’Grady, Nathan Anderson and Jack Neubauer. Not shown: Matt Denniston

The boys golf team traveled last weekend to Scottsale, Arizona to play in the Antigua National High School Golf Invitational, considered to be one of the premier high school tournaments in the country. This was the 7th annual event and Saint Viator has been invited all seven years.

“The course was played at 7,300 yards and was truly a championship test,” says Varsity Coach Jack Halpin.

The event drew 39 high school teams, from nine states and from Canada. They were challenged to 36 holes of tournament play, set at the historic McCormick Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale, where its two 18-hole courses are nestled between the Camelback and MacDowell mountains.

“The competition was intense,” Coach Halpin adds. “To put it in prospective, Saint Viator holds the IHSA state championship record for 36 holes with a 583 (+7 over par), set in 2008. The winning team in Arizona this year shot a tournament record 576 (even par).”

Fr. Charles Bolser, right, distributes communion to Nick Bavaro, left, and Matt Denniston during a home Mass on Saturday

Fr. Charles Bolser, right, distributes communion to Nick Bavaro, left, and Matt Denniston during a home Mass on Saturday.

The trip is reserved for seniors and of the six that made the trip, they were led by Sean O’Grady, who had a team low round of 76 on the second day of the tournament. Other participants included: Nate Anderson, Nick Bavaro, Matt Denniston, Jackson Elstro and Jack Neubauer.

Team members said that a real highlight of the trip was the addition of team chaplain, Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV. He is a former president of Saint Viator High School and an avid golfer.

“Fr. Charlie talked in the team meeting before the event, about taking it one shot at a time,” Coach Halpin says. “He rode the course with me and said Mass for team members and their families that accompanied us.”

Now retired, Fr. Bolser said that he enjoyed making the trip and offering what he could about relaxation techniques and the importance of community. At Mass, he even encouraged team members to share their thoughts about the special gospel reading about the prodigal son.

Fr. Charles Bolser, left, rode the course with Coach Jack Halpin during the tournament

Fr. Charles Bolser, left, rode the course with Coach Jack Halpin during the tournament.

“It was a kind of dialogue,” Fr. Bolser says. “We talked about what it is that sets our school apart, and about the meaning of community and family. It’s a sense of belonging.”