I will never forget the first time I met Braden. He was at our Open House in the fall of his 8th grade year and my son (head boys basketball coach at the time) came over to me and pointed at Braden and said, “there is the guy you need to talk to, he can play.” Well he was correct and fortunately Braden came to Cathedral. He started on JV his freshman year and about midway through the year when we were going to Angola we decided to give Braden a chance at varsity. He played the rest of the year and finished that year playing in the state finals at Prairie View. He finished his sophomore year the same way with another state finals appearance. He persevered through his junior year (many athletes struggle during one year) but there are two things about Braden during that season that I will always remember:
1. Even when he wasn't playing he was always there cheering on his teammates and never missed a match. He was truly as much a part of the varsity as the boys who played.
2. When he struggled he didn’t give up, he worked even harder and this extended to the summer, the fall and this past winter. How would he have done this season? I think he would have flourished and been the player he wanted to be. He would have been an integral member of the team playing in his third state finals and striving for individual top ten honors for himself, his teammates and his team. We will miss him in so many ways.
He is a 4 time letterman. He has a 4.33 GPA and would have been a strong candidate for Academic All State honors. He will attend North Central College to continue his education and his golf career in Naperville, IL.
Senior Braden Estes!
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The first thing you need to know about Caleb is that he went to Scecina High School his freshman year and then transferred to Cathedral. As a freshman he was one of three individual qualifiers to go to regional. So we knew we were getting a good player. As a sophomore, he struggled on the course and it was a tough year for him. But last year as a junior he came roaring back and showed everyone, himself included, what a good player he was. He improved his stroke average by 3.5 shots (per 9 holes) from his sophomore year and was a major contributor to our city and sectional championship team.
What would he have done this year? I believe that he also would have been a major player on our varsity and would have also been striving for all state for himself and a very high finish for our team at state level. As with the other seniors, Caleb would have been able to show to everyone how good he had become. I think this past off-season his work ethic and maturity grew and he was going to become a very good player.
I'm so glad that he chose to transfer!
Senior Caleb Land!
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It seems hard to believe that this is the fourth year for David Cooke. I remember that as a freshman David played soccer and it was sort of his game. Somewhere in the fall I talked to his dad, Brian and he told me that David loved golf too. Well, the good news is that David started playing golf that spring and has continued every year which has been huge for our program. He played mostly varsity his freshman year and was one of two freshmen to play in the state tournament that June. I remember getting a call about 7 am the first day of state from his dad saying that David was sick and not able to play. He didn't play that day but came back on day 2 and played well. David played in the sectional, regional and state again as a sophomore and just missed state as a junior. I have no doubt that David would have played in state again this year had the virus not hit. I think he would have been striving for all state honors and seeing how high the team could place at state. Unfortunately he and the other seniors will never get that chance.
David's scoring average got lower each season with a 39.8 average for nine holes last year. I'm sure he would have been in the 37's or low 38's this season. David is a 4 time letter winner in boys golf and will always be remembered by me as a player who would do anything the coaches asked. We will miss coaching David.
Senior David Cooke!
I remember when Carter was a freshman his swing coach, Chuck Helms, said to me..."one more year of lessons and Carter will be good to go for two varsity years. As a freshman, Carter averaged 46.67. Then his sophomore year he had a 43.12 average and I thought hmm, he is really getting better. Well, he came back last year and averaged 40.75. Are we seeing a trend here? Yes and he was good to good as a junior playing all the time for a team ranked in the top ten most of the season. What do I think would have happened this year? Another 3 shot swing? Maybe but I do know he would have been better and he would have been one of the leaders of the team and would have been knocking on the door of all state individual honors. All this while maintaining a GPA of 4.18. Quite a resume for Carter. I have to tell you that it has been my pleasure to coach Carter for four (three) years and I certainly wish he had at least one more.
As we will say with all these seniors it is just so disappointing that they never got to see how good they individually and as a team could have been. I truly think the sky was the limit.
I'll also miss his dad because he always had scores for me.