Subscribe for 99¢

For the first time in a long time, Grant Goebel and Carter Goebel will be able to hold something over their older brother, Tyler.

The two Goebel brothers will be headed to the Illinois state boys golf tournament this weekend together with their team, something Tyler Goebel did with Mater Dei in 2015.

Only he didn't have either of his brothers along for the ride.

"It'll be cool," Mater Dei senior Grant Goebel said. "The first time ever in the family that two of us will go (at the same time)."

The two brothers made a little family history on Monday as they helped Mater Dei punch its ticket to the Class 1A state tournament with a third-place finish at the Class 1A Zeigler-Royalton Sectional at West Frankfort.

"It's going to be really exciting going to state as a team this year," Grant Goebel said. "We knew that we were going to have to play well to move on, which we did, so we're all going to state which is nice."

The Class 1A state tournament will begin Friday at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington. Mater Dei qualified as a team for the first time since 2015. 

Tyler Goebel, a 2017 Mater Dei graduate, has helped his two younger brothers with a few tips or pointers from time to time.

"(Tyler) likes to help us," Carter Goebel said. "He goes out to the range with us and helps us with our swing sometimes if we're hitting badly."

Having three Goebel siblings come through his program, Mater Dei coach Dennis Trame said the sibling rivalry has helped mold them into state-caliber golfers.

"The boys have played golf since a young age and that makes it a very competitive," Trame said. "They've been very helpful for each other and encouraging each other. They're very cognizant of each other's needs and help everyone out."

Mater Dei edged out Hillsboro by one stroke for the final spot and is excited to head to state, but Trame knows that his team is capable of even better scores.

"We felt that we hadn't played our best golf," Trame said. "We were not sure how it was going to stand at the end. We knew that it was really tight. As it turned out, we did move on by one stroke. The guys feel like they still have something to prove and are looking forward to the opportunity at state."

Younger brother Carter Goebel nearly cracked under pressure as he walked up to the final hole.

The sophomore golfer knew his score could make or break Mater Dei's chance to go to Bloomington.

"I was on the last hole and I had a five-footer (putt) for par and I missed it," Carter Goebel said. "I knew that I could have blown it and I was not happy with myself then."

Carter Goebel held it together and finished with a 5-over-par 76.

His brother Grant heard his father call out to him as he approached the final hole that he needed to finish well.

"I was like, 'OK?', But I knew we must be getting close," Goebel said. "I still had no idea that it was going to come down to a stroke."

Grant Goebel fired an even-par 71 to help the Knights push past Hillsboro (310) with a team score of 309, and send him back to the state tournament for the fourth consecutive season.

"We've been led by all year long by the Goebel boys as far as being consistent," Trame said.

The Knights captured their second consecutive regional championship after being dropped down from Class 2A. 

But the competition in 1A didn't make the road to get there any easier.

"We thought maybe the drop down to 1A may be easier, but as it turned out in the metro area the dominant schools have been 1A schools," Trame said.

Althoff, which also dropped down to Class 1A, finished second in the sectional round. Hillsboro had qualified for state three years in a row before Mater Dei squeaked past them.

While the Goebel's have led Mater Dei all year, Trame said its team depth that will help the Knights make some noise.

"Everyone has all had their time in the spotlight," Trame said. "We've got a solid core of four players and we'll rely on them to get us where we want to go. We've had four kids who have regularly shot under 39 (in 9-hole matches) and mostly 38 or under."

Sign up for our free newsletter for the most comprehensive digest of sports stats, scores and stories from any and all area high schools.