Nearly every single high school athlete has one singular shared goal in mind, and that is to make it to the state meet/tournament in their respective sports. Only a select few ever reach the pinnacle event of their sport and within the sport of high school golf, that number shrinks even more.

Then there comes the one and only Dylan Sherlock, boys golfer at Van Meter High School. Sherlock officially proved that age is just a number, punching his ticket to the Class 2A state golf tournament in just his first season at the varsity level. Within the confines of the Carroll Country Club on Friday, May 17, the freshman carded an 18 hole round of 82 which officially marked his best 18-hole round of his high school career to this point.

A trio of pars across the front nine helped Sherlock to a front nine score of 43 while carding five pars across the back nine for a score of 39, just one stroke off of his season low. Fellow teammate Parker Fryar just missed out on the final cut after carding a front nine score of 48 with a back nine score of 47 for a grand total of 95 strokes taken on the day.

The sectional meet sure did provide its fair share of challenges, but nothing that the Bulldog pair couldn’t get through.

“This was a course where it was better to come up short than too long,” said Sherlock. “I didn’t try too hard which is ultimately what helped me the most.”

For Sherlock, making the big dance has always been a goal in the distance but now it’s officially a reality, something that he states is nothing short of a good feeling.

‘It feels really good to make it and be among the few that actually get to go to state,” said Sherlock. “I’ve been working hard all season for this and I can’t wait to see what the state course is like.”

Then again, as exciting as it has been to punch his ticket, there seemed to be a calm and expectant feel to it all. That might come from the fact that Sherlock has been indoctrinated with the sport ever since he could pick up a club.

“Golf just feels so natural to me because I’ve been playing the sport since I was five years old,” began Sherlock. “I feel so comfortable out there on the course.”

That comfortability has led the freshman to yield the team’s best 9 and 18 hole combined average of 45.30 which also ranks eighth within the entire West Central Activities Conference landscape. It’s that calm demeanor that Sherlock brings that brings uniqueness to his game that most freshman wouldn’t have, but when asked what could be the best part about his game, head coach Addison Boughton had another thought in mind.

“Dylan’s mental approach to the game has been key for him,” said Boughton. “He typically does not let one bad shot turn into two. Dylan’s feel around the greens has also helped with his success this year.”

As he prepares for what will hopefully be a successful tournament run, Sherlock has one big focus in mind.

“On a course, I haven’t played before, especially one like a state course, I plan on playing it safe and at times short,” said Sherlock. “It’s much easier to gauge where you are and get out of any hazards if you are short. Especially since it’s a shorter course than I’ve played in the past, a shorter shot won’t put you in a situation where you have to waste a shot to get out.”

The course will indeed present itself as a somewhat short course with five total par threes averaging 171 yards, ten total par fours, averaging 378 yards, and just three total par fives averaging 541 yards.

With all the tools required for a strong state meet run, Sherlock will join the rest of the 64 golfer field in Marshalltown to take on the par 70 American Legion Golf Course which has an overall rating of 69.5. Sherlock will begin his state journey at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 23 as he tees off from hole four alongside Nick Stole of Roland-Story and Nicholas Hein of Iowa City Regina.