ST. CHARLES – Bennett Mortensen has seen it up close over and over again.
Golfing alongside his best friend and St. Charles East teammate Jake Daeschler, Mortensen sees and knows a little more underneath the surface about what drives Daeschler to succeed.
“Most people that watch Jake probably see ... he’s super calm,” Mortensen said. “I can tell you on the inside there’s nothing he hates more than losing. He may look like he’s 100 percent calm and he doesn’t [necessarily] care how he’s doing, but he is 100 percent motivated with his score and his position in winning.”
Daeschler and Mortensen usually spent three to four days each week during the summer at a golf range preparing for the season. It helped both eventually reach the Class 3A state tournament in October. Daeschler, in his first state appearance as a junior, finished in 15th place to cap off a strong season.
“Just barely making it here ... I earned this,” Daeschler said after his state finish. “I just had no real pressure.”
At the Glenbard West Sectional, Daeschler prevailed in a two-hole playoff to advance to the state tournament as the last individual.
Daeschler, for his collective accomplishments this season, is the 2019 Kane County Chronicle Boys Golfer of the Year.
“The practice, the dedication and the determination that I put into this year just really paid off at the range,” Daeschler said.
Daeschler simply embraces that itch to get better no matter what.
“I love it,” Daeschler said. “Going on the course, you’ve got the view ... it’s all on you, it’s not on someone else. It’s just you make the decision [and] you make the call.”
“Jake has a drive within himself to always want to get better,” Mortensen said. “He’s always wanting to practice, and honestly, pushing me more than I push him. At the range, he knows what he wants. He kind of has his own idea how he can be better always.”
Daeschler is already looking forward to what’s coming for his Saints team that collectively missed heading to state by one stroke in the sectional.
“My goal – and our team’s goal – we want to advance to state,” Daeschler said. “There’s a core of us that are putting work in right now as soon as the season [was] over.”
Daeschler took just four days off from swinging a golf club after the state meet before returning to the range – with Morton alongside.
“We have a [team] motto: Hashtag Unfinished Business,” Daeschler said.
Charlie Burke, Marmion, so.; Jake Daeschler, St. Charles East, jr.; Ari Fragen, Batavia, sr.; Alex Lilly, St. Charles North, jr.; Bennett Mortensen, St. Charles East, jr.; Cal McKittrick, Geneva, jr.; Josh Pehl, Kaneland, so.