Evanston’s Casati proving nimble with the sticks
Updated: October 14, 2012 1:56PM
EVANSTON — Evanston’s golf boys team welcomed back five of the six players from last year’s postseason lineup.
That quintet, led by junior Jackson Mihevc, advanced to the sectionals before missing out on the state tournament by one spot in the standings and nine total strokes.
Not surprisingly, the Wildkits look good again this season, and some of that is because of Jake Casati, a player who wasn’t even on that team a year ago.
A year after playing JV, the varsity rookie already has proven he belongs on the team. Casati signaled his arrival Aug. 28 with a 78 at the Glenview Park District in a match against Young. It wasn’t the prettiest round, but that’s why Evanston coach Jed Curtis loves having Casati on his team.
“He’s a gritty competitor,” Curtis said. “He’s a throwback. Jake has a good scoring sense, and that’s what you want to see in a kid. He manages his game well.”
Casati made the turn in 42 strokes. Instead of panicking or giving up, he rallied to shoot a 36 on the back nine.
“I’ve always had a short memory in golf,” Casati said. “I don’t let a bad hole affect me.”
Casati gets another chance to test himself when the Wildkits tee it up Saturday at Wheeling’s invitational at Chevy Chase Country Club, one of the top local tournaments of the season.
Golf isn’t even Casati’s main sport, although it’s one he’s played since a young age.
While most of the top players in the area were busy participating in junior tournaments, Casati was occupied with lacrosse, a sport he’s played for nearly a decade. He was a starting attack for the Wildkits as a sophomore.
Even though he was too busy for tournaments, Casati found enough time to play golf at least three times a week during the summer. He picked up his practice a couple of weeks before tryouts.
“I just tried to get myself into a good swing tempo,” Casati said.
Casati’s emergence — he also shared medalist honors at Wilmette Golf Club on Aug. 30 with his 37 — now gives Evanston one of the deepest teams in the CSL and an opportunity to qualify for the state tournament for the first time since the 1959-60 school year.
“We all know we have a good team,” Casati said. “When we are playing our best, we are a dangerous team. But we try not to let that take over our minds. We want to focus on the next tournament, but we know we need to be on our game at conference and regionals.”