February 11, 2022
Photo courtesy of Jeff Cesare
Right down the middle. Alec Cesare hits a shot at the 2021 IHSAA State Tournament.
The Boys’ golf team is poised for a 2022 state title run led by their best player, Alec Cesare.
At first glance, many don’t think much of Cesare. Standing at 5’9” 130 pounds he doesn’t hit the ball as far as other competitors, but he’s never let his size deter him from competing at the top of Indiana golf, and after countless hours of practice he’s received a Division I offer from Ball State University.
“I am a late bloomer physically, so I have always hit woods when my competitors were hitting wedges,” Cesare said. “It forced me to develop an unrivaled work ethic and a chip on my shoulder that continues to drive me.”
His work ethic does not go unnoticed by his fellow teammates that not only admire him as a golfer but as a person.
“He’s a role model,” fellow junior Cam Kooi said.
Head coach Josh Bryant knows he has a special player on his hand. As a sophomore, Cesare reached the state tournament and received All-State honors. He has reached the Indiana Junior match-play semifinals twice in the last three years.
“Alec is a gifted athlete and one of the best players in the state,” Bryant said. “We’re excited for his future: this year and next year as a Shamrock.”
Cesare gave his ultimate goal: win a team state title. In high-school golf, five players start and then the top four scores are counted. He knows he won’t be able to do it all by himself, but he’s confident in the team’s ability to make a run.
“We have a bunch of players that can come in and tear it up.”
Those other players include his brother, Jake Cesare (freshman) who has quietly been in Alec’s shadow but is known to beat his older brother on occasion, Will Harvey (freshman) a player that reached the Indiana Junior match-play quarterfinals in 2021, Kooi who played most of the season last year, and experienced seniors Nolan Hall and the writer both of which have played in sectionals before.
The head coach agrees with Alec’s assessment of the potential greatness of this year’s team. While the Rocks have not made it to state as a team since 2017, Coach Bryant believes this team is his best.
“The team is so deep this year, there’s no reason to think that we can’t be one of the top teams in the state,” Bryant, “If we play our best golf in June, we will be in position on the back nine at Prairie View vying for a title.”
The road ahead will be tough. The Rocks will have to fight off annual rivals: Carmel, Zionsville, and Guerin Catholic to get top three at sectionals before they can even think about state. Once out of sectionals, a fairly easy regional awaits them before the state title at Prairie View. Once at state, they’ll have to conquer the defending champions: Center Grove, the other two teams from the Rocks’ sectional, and other talented teams to be crowned Indiana’s number one team.
“We just have to be playing hot at the right time,” Cesare said.