The Red Demons boys golf team is going to state. This coming after they finished second at the 6A Regional Golf Tournament at Mariah Hills in Golf Course in Dodge City Monday.
Garden City finished first with a team score of 322, Dodge City finished with a score of 340 and Hutchinson finished third with a score of 351.
Senior Luke Gleason continued his strong season, finishing third with a 79. Davan Smith shot an 82, Ethan Goertzen an 88, Tryston Lomas a 91, Cayden Kerr a 95 and Kale Lowery a 108.
The Red Demons will compete at the state golf tournament scheduled for May 21st. The 6A Tournament takes place at Ironhorse Golf Course in Leawood, Kansas.
“The team has just slowly improved all year, and I thought we were capable of (qualifying for state), but I knew we had to play well to have the opportunity, and fortunately we did,” Red Demon head coach Jim Mapel said.
Smith’s score was something he had been working toward, Mapel said.
“He’s kinda been close to shooting a round like that this year, he just kind of put everything together today, and hit the ball well and kept in control of his game,” Mapel said. “So I was really proud of him and happy for him to shoot that score.”
Goertzen’s score was his second best of the season, and Lomas’ 91 was personal best on varsity, Mapel said.
“All those guys had a real good day,” Mapel said.
As for next week’s course, the team has already played a practice round on it earlier this year when they went to Topeka to compete. That means it won’t be completely unfamiliar, but it also won’t be easy.
“It’s a challenging golf course,” Mapel said. “I mean you’ve got to keep the ball in play off the tee-box. It’s a lot trees obviously and they’ve got a lot of little streams and lateral water hazards and it’s really challenging.”
Mapel said he’s happy the team has already had a look at it, and that they’ll get one more look at it next Sunday when they practice on it again.
“We’re just going to have to continue to do what we’ve done to get a little bit better and be more consistent, but I would say the main thing is controlling the golf ball on our tee shots,” Mapel said.
Ball control off tee shots will be one of the things the team works on in the time they have left leading up to state.
“Sometimes it’s better to maybe hit a 3-wood or a hybrid or even an iron rather than you driver on some holes just so you can have a better opportunity to keep it in play,” Mapel said. “We’ll work on that, and we’ll continue to work on our short game, chipping and putting and we’ll hit a lot of practice with our bunker shots because there’s a lot of sand on that golf course as well.”