La PORTE — When the pressure ratchets up, that's when Jack Schable thrives.
That's partly because the La Porte junior golfer is familiar with demanding situations.
After all, he won a playoff over a pair of teammates to play in the Duneland Athletic Conference tournament and later claimed a playoff over one teammate to play in the sectional.
Schable earned the team's fifth and last spot for the sectional after winning an internal competition last Tuesday, then shot 92 in the Slicers’ own sectional, which was counted, helping them capture their fourth straight sectional last Friday at Beechwood.
“I was just happy that I'd get the opportunity to play,” Schable said. “And hopefully, help my team.
“Me and Mason (Jones) are real close, and also, Jackson Cizewski. (We) three had a playoff for the DAC. (Jackson and I) advanced to play. (Mason and I) had a playoff to see who was going to take the five spot in the sectional. I had the opportunity to advance. I just tried my best in the sectional.”
La Porte coach Eric Wozniak looked at his players' scoring averages over the course of the season, and then rated them accordingly.
Schable was ranked as the Slicers' No. 6 golfer, but was locked in a battle with the team's fifth golfer. After making the post-season lineups, he delivered, carding the squad's third-best score of 92. That aided another La Porte sectional crown after it edged rival Michigan City by two strokes, recording 358.
“He came through big in the sectional,” Wozniak said. “When it really mattered and our goal was right there, he did a good job. He was consistent all the way through.”
To begin his sectional round, Schable tallied pars on holes No. 3, 6 and 9, finishing with 45 on the front nine holes.
Wozniak added Schable was also the best in his group on the back nine.
“I tried to play the sectional more conservative, not always going for the green,” Schable said. “Because I haven't been hitting a couple of my clubs consistently, I just decided to keep them in the bag and maybe hit a lower club and play up, and that helped to just come out with a lower score.”
Whenever Wozniak asks Schable, 'What do you feel like doing today?' he usually responds, 'I want to go out and play or work on my mid-irons.' Wozniak said Schable has improved his swing and mid-irons most since the beginning of the season. At the same time, his coach continued, he puts in a good amount of time on the course trying to improve his game.
Besides being a reliable golfer, Schable is a proficient bass fisherman as well.
He and Jones have qualified for the three-day national bass fishing tournament in mid-June on Pickwick Lake in Alabama.
"I feel in love with it," Schable said of bass fishing. "I've been trying to get better ever since. I started fishing competitively only like two years ago. We've made quite a bit of progress since then."
The junior is hoping to attend college where they have a competitive bass fishing team.
In Thursday's Lake Central Regional at Sandy Pines in DeMotte, his eyes will be on birdies and not bass.
Schable said the team can't hold anything back now, considering its season will be over if it doesn't finish in the top three.
"We're kind of an underdog going into the regional," he said. "So we just need to be aggressive with our play. We really don't have much to lose out there. Just being aggressive, trying to get as low of a score as we can."
La Porte will look to rely on Schable again, just like in the sectional.
“Jack as a golfer is tough through and through,” Wozniak said. “He's had to fight for his spot several times this season. He wants it. He wants to be a contributing factor on this team. When the pressure's on, he does a good job. Where other people might crack under pressure, Jack doesn't.”
Lake Central Regional
At Sandy Pines Golf Club, DeMotte
Thursday, 8 a.m.
(Top three teams and top five individuals on non-advancing teams qualify for state at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel)