By Christopher Johnson


The 2021 regular season schedule welcomed it first official action on Thursday, Aug. 12,  as the Byron Tigers joined together with their Lady Tigers partners in a 4 p.m. tee-off into the regular fall season.

Two days later Byron and nearby neighbor Stillman Valley shared some quality time on the grounds at Prairie View Golf Course, helping to open new horizons for both programs.

The Cardinals were taking their first cracks into the 2021-2022 school year as they played through the 2021 Tigers Shootout.

Many restrictions in 2020-2021 forced changes for teams such as Byron and Stillman Valley during the golf season. Still, ways were worked out to let the games be played.

This school year, mandates from Illinois Governor JB Pritzker have led to rules of action being needed, in certain situations.

Golf, being an outdoor sport, faces fewer restrictions, especially when it involves playing or just following along, watching.

This current situation, however, is subject to potential modification, if public health issues require a change

Fans and followers have been previously encouraged to possibly keep a mask handy, if a “just in case,” scenario visits.

In the Saturday get together between the Tigers and Cardinals, strong stretches of play caused the champion of the day much pause to reflect, as he attempted to maintain control, down the stretch.

Byron slipped past Stillman Valley 336-332. The second-place finishing Cardinals easily outpaced third-place claimant Rockford Christian by 45 strokes, 336-381.

Stillman Valley shot-sharpshooters Lovgren and Owen Dunseth ended their day laying claim to both third and fourth place at the season-opening invitational down the road, just outside Byron.

Conference play commenced on Tuesday, Aug. 17, as the Royal Lions got a chance to redeem themselves in their efforts against the Cardinals in the Saturday setting.

As the Cardinals continued through their early season play, another nearby associated picked up a match this past Thursday.

The Oregon Hawks flew in and were quickly shot down by an over 40-stroke margin, 170-212.

The loss pushed Oregon into consideration position in the Big Northern chase and at the same time, helped keep the Cardinals in discussion circles as they approached early conference matches.

Griffin Smits earned Medalist Honors in the Big Northern meeting and was joined on the leader board by Runner-Up Owen Dunseth.

Smits’ Cardinals teammate improved his stroke control, following his weekend showing at Prairie View Golf Course, where he ended away from the top two in the Tigers Shootout.

Match play continued this week for Stillman Valley as they attended meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, in anticipation of another busy weekend of golf and a Monday schedule, which pushes them deep into conference positioning rounds.

The Byron Tigers worked through a match on Monday, Aug. 21, but won’t have to hit the course again until Saturday, Aug. 28 at 8 a.m.

The end of the month also has the Byron Tigers boys and girls golf teams preparing for their mid-season stretch, with multiple matches schedule early into the month of September that will determine which team has a chance to take the lead this fall in the Big Northern.

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