Timeout Golf: Jeremy Shaffer helping to keep up strong Boone Grove tradition
By Mike Hutton email@example.com or 613-0141 April 30, 2013 11:20PM
Boone Grove's Jeremy Shaffer tees off during practice Monday afternoon at Lakes of the Four Seasons. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Boys Golf Extra
P-T Top 5
2. Crown Point
4. Lake Central
5. Boone Grove
Golfer of the Week
Jack Musgrave , Andrean
Musgrave shot a 74 to take medalist honors at the Kankakee Valley Invitational on Saturday. He was one of three golfers to break 80.
— Mike Hutton
Girls Tennis Extra
P-T Top 5
4. Crown Point
Player of the Week
Kaley Liang, Portage
The No. 2 singles player helped the Red Indians prevail over their DAC rivals from Lake Central with her 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 set in the 3-2 win on Thursday.
— Josh Lichtenfeld
Updated: June 2, 2013 6:36AM
WHEATFIELD — Boone Grove coach Bob Lukas had a premonition about Jeremy Shaffer last week before the Wolves teed off in the Kankakee Valley Invitational.
He believed that Shaffer was going to play well.
Lukas’ premonition was right on the money.
Shaffer, who shares the No. 1 spot with Brad Bobrowski, shot a 75 and helped the Wolves take first place.
“I just had a hunch about it,” Lukas said.
Lukas’ hunch was based on Shaffer’s enthusiasm for Sandy Pines, a tricky, tight course that has plenty of hiding places for errant golf balls.
Shaffer had driven out to the course on Thursday with Bobrowski after practice and played 25 holes with him. It all went well for him there.
“When he finished, I had a text message waiting for me,” Lukas said. “He was so excited about how he played. You know, I knew then he wanted to do it.”
Shaffer and Bobrowski are just a couple in a long line of Boone Grove golfers over the last decade who just want to “do it.”
The Wolves, with a student population of just 227, have one of the best small-school golf programs in the state.
They graduated Drake Devereux, Tony Spalla and Zack Hoskins last year and reloaded with Bobrowski and Shaffer this year, along Dan Peceny and Zach Wagner.
The Wolves always seem to have players for a couple of reasons.
They have a tradition of excellence that dates back to players like Taylor Noel and Tyler Nicol and many of the kids grew up in Lakes of the Four Seasons, which has a golf course in the subdivision.
Shaffer, who Lukas calls “freakishly long”, didn’t really start playing seriously until after his eighth-grade year after some of the kids on the team encouraged him to go out for the team.
He had concentrated mostly on bowling until then.
“We have a small school and everybody knows everybody,” Shaffer said. “Drake (Devereux) and another friend got me into it.”
Shaffer played part of last year at the No. 2 spot and part of it at the third spot after Bobrowski started to edge him out.
The two have pretty much split time at the No.1 position this year. Both of them enjoy going at it in practice and playing together after practice.
According to Lukas, both have helped keep the level of play at Boone Grove.
“We lost a lot to graduation last year,” he said. “But these guys eat, sleep and breathe golf.”
Shaffer picked up his game last summer, playing as much as possible on the local junior circuit.
Mentally, he is way ahead of where he was last season. Lukas said his short game and his on course management are way better than they were a year ago.
“He has really started to dial in on his irons,” he said. “The biggest thing is his maturity and not getting frustrated when things go bad. The evolution is a beautiful thing for these young guys.”