Loaded with senior experience, the 2021 season has been another perfect one for the Riverdale boys golf team.
With the unofficial start of the postseason a week away in the form of the Three Rivers Conference meet, the Rams come into this week with a 12-0 record in dual meet competition.
Those wins include a pair of victories against Sherrard, one of the teams looking to challenge Riverdale's ongoing string of seven consecutive conference titles.
Having topped Sherrard along with Ridgewood at a season-opening triangular meet at Byron Hills Golf Course last month, the Rams bested the Tigers as well as Kewanee in a conference triangular last week at Cambridge's Valley View Golf Club.
Set to host next Tuesday's TRAC meet at Byron Hills, the Rams hope to use an appearance at this week's Monmouth-Roseville Invitational to further fine-tune their game.
"That's something (assistant coach Jason Dennhardt) and I have pushed since we started coaching here," said Riverdale head coach Trent Groves, whose club finished seventh at the 18-team Redbird Classic in Metamora on Saturday.
"We like to play against the bigger schools for even more competition, and we want to get in the big 18-hole events. Those really prepare you for the postseason."
Leading the way for the Rams' senior core has been James Moorhusen. The reigning individual regional champion has been medalist at the majority of Riverdale's 9-hole meets, supported by a strong lineup that includes classmates Ben Nelson, Ashton Sutton and Sam Willems.
With the Class 1A regional two weeks away, Riverdale looks to use its remaining 18-hole events prior to the conference meet — the Mon-Rose Invite and its own Wayne Brinkmeier Invitational on Saturday — to ramp up its preparation.
"These meets are good for ironing out the kinks before the postseason," said Groves. "Our varsity is largely seniors and they've been through this routine before, but still, they never want to just settle. Even if we're clicking on all cylinders, we're still looking to improve."
Tigers' tale: Sherrard looks to remain a formidable opponent when next week's conference meet rolls around.
Not only do the Tigers boast a solid 10-2 record in dual meets, they captured the team title at the Mercer County Invitational at Valley View just over a week ago.
Rockets soaring: With Riverdale having gotten the better of Sherrard twice, the Rockridge Rockets still have a couple of opportunities against the Rams, including today's triangular, which includes Sterling Newman.
Rockridge is soaring following a first-place finish at Kewanee's Boiler Invitational on Sarurday. The Rockets finished with 341 strokes to edge runnerup Amboy by eight for their first 18-hole title of the season.
The championship came one week after Rockridge finished as the runnerup to Sherrard at the Mercer County Invitational. Earlier in the year, it took sixth at the Geneseo Invite, a meet dominated by larger schools.