Ashland High School added a team golf state championship to its collection on Monday, capturing the Class 1A state tournament at Turkey Creek Golf Course.

    “It has been dream for a long time to win state,” said Ashland’s Corey Stebens, a fourth-place finisher individually for the second straight season, shooting an 81. “I never knew if I would get a chance. ... I have three family members on this team and it is pretty awesome if you have three family members that have won state.


Ashland High School added a team golf state championship to its collection on Monday, capturing the Class 1A state tournament at Turkey Creek Golf Course.
   “It has been dream for a long time to win state,” said Ashland’s Corey Stebens, a fourth-place finisher individually for the second straight season, shooting an 81. “I never knew if I would get a chance. ... I have three family members on this team and it is pretty awesome if you have three family members that have won state.

   “They said we could win state this year and I was like, ‘I don’t know, maybe we have a chance.’ They kept saying it all year, and it happened.”
    This is the first time Ashland has ever won the state tournament in golf. This year, it also won the Southern Plains-Iroquois Athletics Association tournament and their regional tourney.
    Ashland now has been to state as a team three years in a row.
    In 2009, they took ninth and head coach Jesse Stebens said the best they have finished before Monday was  eighth.
    Corey Stebens’ score of 81 on Monday was one stroke higher than the year before.
    “When my coach, Jesse Stebens, came up to me on hole 14 and said, ‘We have a chance (to win), I need you to par out.’ I said, ‘All right,’ ‘’ Corey Stebens said. “(Coach) said, ‘You can’t bogey any more holes,’ and I had four holes to go. I was a little nervous at that point. He said, ‘You have led us this far, you can finish it for us,’ and I said ‘All right,’ and I ended up paring every hole after that and we won by two strokes.”
    Corey Stebens was not finished after 18 holes, having to compete in a fourth-place tiebreaker, in which he won.
    “At that point, I was so excited that we had won state,” Corey Stebens said. “I was playing for fourth and fifth place and was happy with either one at that point. … I said, ‘This is your last year, this could be your last hole in a golf tournament in high school, or if we both tie we go another hole,’ so I said ‘Let’s just finish strong’ and I ended

bogeying it up. We played right into the wind and he double bogeyed it, and I got fourth.”
    This is the second tournament in a row Corey Stebens has been part of a tiebreaker, and he won both.
    “We already knew we won state as a team and the pressure was off of him,” Jesse Stebens said. “He swung freely, it was best he did all day.”
    Austin Stebens took 10th with an 84, Jay Leurman tied him and finished ninth after winning a tiebreaker. Chance Stebens shot a 90 for 26th and Ervin Swonger shot a 105 for 65th.
     Fifteen strokes behind Ashland was Greensburg, finishing fifth overall.
    Greensburg was led by Thomas Derstein’s 84 and Garth Einsel’s 85. Derstein finished 12th and Einsel was 13th.
    “They played well for the conditions,” Greensburg head coach Mick Kendall said. “It is not an easy course when the wind is blowing the way it is.”
    Kendall and several other coaches said the wind was over 40 miles per hour.
    “They just took what the wind gave them,” Kendall said “There is not much else you can do.”
    South Gray had a lot of trouble with the wind, shooting a 389 for 11th place out of 12 teams.
    A week prior, they shot a 356 for second place at its regional. At that regional, three South Gray golfers shot below a 90. At state, Garret Watkins was the only one to reach the mark with an 89.
    South Gray head coach Charles Blattner said he did not think it was nerves that affected his team.
    “We are a high-ball-hitting team, are kids hit pretty high,” Blattner said. “When we play high winds like we do today, it has more of an effect.
    “We don’t shoot real well in the wind. I think that effected them a little more than nerves. As a whole, I don’t think state bothered them because they were there last year.”

                               Class 1A State Golf Tournament
                             at Turkey Creek G.C., McPherson
Team scores
    Ashland 339, Pleasanton 341, St. John 345, Hoxie 353, Greensburg 354, Linn 368, Quivira Heights 373, Ness City 379, Centre 386, Sharon Springs 388, South Gray 389, Lawrence Seabury 398.

Top 20 individuals
    1. Joey Morrisey, Pleasanton, 74; 2. Reed Grabill, Lawrence, Seabury; 80; 3. Gannon Coffman, Pleasanton, 80; 4. Cory Stebens, Ashland, 81
5. Danton Hilton, St. John, 81; 6. Clay Robertson, Tribune, 82; 7. Eric Linnell, Hoxie, 82; 8. Kevin Horigan, Frankfort, 83; 9. Jay Luevman, Ashland, 84; 10. Austin Stebens, Ashland, 84; 11. Brett Gfeller, Triplains, 84; 12. Thomas Derstein, Greensburg, 84; 13. Zak Voelker, Linn 85; 13. Aaron Spare, St. John 85; 13. Garth Einstel, Greensburg 85; 17. Sawyer LaSage, Pretty Prairie 87; 17. Casey Heim, Hoxie 87; 17. John Clarke, Ness City 87; 17. Skylar Rains, Sharon Springs 87; 17. Shelby Hatesohl, Linn 87;  17. Adam Matz, Centre 87.