All eight Mid-Illini Conference boys golf teams competed Saturday in the Coyote Creek Classic tournament at Coyote CreekGolf Course in Bartonville.
Led by individual runner-up Mason Minkel, Pekin shot the best score of the conference teams.
The Dragons tied for fifth place with Normal U-High, each with 317. Here's how the other Mid-Illini teams fared in the 21-team tournament:
Dunlap (7th, 321), Morton (9th, 324), Washington (14th, 355), East Peoria (15th, 359), Canton (16th, 363), Metamora (18th, 381) and tournament host Limestone (19th, 385).
A big reason why the entire Mid-Illini was at the tournament is the conference tournament will be held at Coyote Creek on Oct. 3.
Pekin normally plays in the Quincy Invitational on the first weekend of the season, but switched to get in a competitive round at Coyote Creek.
Dragons coach Jeremy Crouch was cautious about jumping to any conclusions about his team or the conference race based on the results of Saturday's tournament.
"Encouraging," was Crouch's succinct reaction. "We had some guys step up and play well on a windy day. The wind was gusting and swirling."
Minkel shot 1-under-par 71.
Also scoring for the Dragons were Carter Stevenson (80), Dawson Woll (82) and Justin Taphorn (84).
It was the first high school tournament for Stevenson, a freshman.
"Carter left a couple shots out there," Crouch said. "As he gets more seasoning and comfortable, that won't happen."
Crouch praised Woll and Taphorn for fighting back after early adversity. It was Woll's first competition of the season.
Adam Cash (88) and Cooper Theleritis (89) also played for Pekin. Theleritis, the No. 2 player in Pekin's lineup behind Minkel, was slowed by an injury.
Normal Community won the tournament with 300. Maple Park Kaneland (309), Elmhurst York (311) and Peoria Notre Dame (316) also finished in front of Pekin.
St. Charles East (8th, 324), Geneva (10th, 326), Batavia (11th, 345), Normal West (12th, 351), Pontiac (13th, 355), Illini Bluffs (17th, 378), Peoria Richwoods (20th, 390) and Brimfield (21st, 410) rounded out the team standings.
Notre Dame's Mikey Wales won the individual championship with a 3-under 69, two strokes better than Minkel.
It was a perfect opening week of the season for Wales, who played in three tournaments and won them all with sub-par rounds.
He shot 3-under 69 to win the Notre Dame Invitational at Kellogg Golf Course in Peoria and 6-under 65 at Weibring Golf Club in Normal to win the Raider-Redbird Classic.
York's Sam Bartolone (73), Kaneland's Josh Pehl (73), Normal Community's Griffin McCluskey (73), Kaneland's Ryan Milton (74), Normal Community's Evan Semonis (74), Morton's Connor Vicary (75), Normal Community's Logan Winn (75) and U-High's Brevin Knight (76) completed the top 10 in the individual standings at Coyote Creek.
Pekin will open Mid-Illini play this week against the teams that finished right behind it at the Coyote Creek Classic.
The Dragons will face defending conference champion Dunlap on Tuesday at Mt. Hawley Country Club in Peoria and play host to Morton on Thursday at Lick Creek Golf Course.

Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.