As a team, the Durango High School golfers didn’t qualify for the state tournament through Monday’s 4A Region 2 tournament. Still, the Demons will send a team to the state meet.
Ponderosa won the region with a 24-over-par 240 at the Eisenhower Golf Course at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Cheyenne Mountain won a playoff against Palmer Ridge to place second at 29 over, while the Demons were fourth at 37 over.
Only the top two teams automatically qualify for the state championship tournament, but the next 13 individuals not on those teams also qualify. The Demons had three players, Ethan Whidden, Anthony Flint and Levi Tichi, fall into that group of 13, giving the Demons a team of three to score with at The Club at Flying Horse golf course Oct. 1-2 in Colorado Springs.
“It’s a weird feeling,” DHS head coach Kirk Rawles said. “We qualified three for state, but nobody felt really good about how they played. There are pluses and minuses to that. Parts of that are having two freshmen qualified and a junior, and we get to play as a team. With only three guys instead of four, those three guys are the ones who have to score, but if you get on a hot streak, you never know.”
On a tough course with undulating greens, Ponderosa’s Mac Konrad won the regional with a 4-over 76. There was a three-way tie for second at 5-over 77, and those were the only four scores in the 70s.
Whidden, a junior, shot 9-over 81 to finish in a tie for sixth. Flint, a freshman, tied for 15th at 14-over 86 along with Tichi, another freshman. Luke Tichi, a junior, shot 90 to finish in a tie for 26th. That was two shots out of qualifying for state.
“The greens were really tough,” Rawles said. “It was tough to hit the right part of the green and to get above the hole anywhere. A chip or a putt to the hole was really tough. I don’t think anybody was happy except Ethan. He played pretty solid. An 81 in that field, that was pretty solid.”
Levi Tichi turned it on late to earn his qualifying score, Rawles said.
The trio will now have two weeks to prepare for state. A total of 84 players make the state tournament. Montrose is the defending state champion.
Rawles was pleased with the regular season and is excited to return the entire varsity team next season. He had 30 players on the squad this year, an encouraging sign for golf.
“The resurgence and embrace of golf was fun to see this year,” he said. “The kids are interested being there, learning more about it and figuring out the game. We will have the four regional guys back next year and a couple guys waiting in the wings who want to step up and play.”
Boys SoccerTelluride 7, Bayfield 2The Wolverines and Miners were tied 1-1 at halftime Tuesday in Telluride, but the host Miners scored six goals in the second half to blow the game open.
Bayfield fell to 1-6 overall with the loss. The team will play another non-league game at 11 a.m. Saturday at Kirtland Central.
VolleyballBayfield 3, Montezuma-Cortez 1The Wolverines picked up a Class 3A Intermountain League win on the road Tuesday.
Bayfield beat Montezuma-Cortez 25-15, 25-21, 24-26, 25-20 to finish the match in four games.
Mavis Edwards led BHS (3-6, 2-2 IML) with 13 kills. Jannika Pope added nine kills. Lana McKee led the team with 24 digs, and Tymbree Florian paced the offense with 23 assists.
“We have been working hard on serve-receive passing to protect the offense, and we have been seeing progress that past couple of weeks,” BHS head coach Terene Foutz said. “Tonight, the team held on serve-receiving passing, which was a breakthrough for us.”
The Panthers fell to 4-3 overall and are also 2-2 in the IML after Tuesday’s home loss.
BHS will return home at 6 p.m. Thursday to host Farmington.