Right now, Kenny Anderson, Gino Maio and Josh Gunderson are all focused on cracking numbers.
In just a few days, the young golfers they are coaching will be focused on crushing golf balls.
The first postseason promotion of the Fall High School Sports Season takes place on Monday and Tuesday during the Gulf State Tournament for boys of all classes.
Anderson’s Windsor team – Junior Landon Ball, Newbie Kellen Ball, Junior Carter Hinkle and Senior Brentyn Paiz – will compete in the 4A tournament on the Denver City Park Course.
The Windsor Boys golf team from left to right: Freshman Dillon Calkins, Junior Carter Hinkle, Junior Landon Ball, Senior Brentyn Paiz, and Newbie Kellen Ball. The Wizards were the champions of the Northern Colorado Athletic Conference. (Courtesy / Kenny Anderson)
Maio’s Eaton Reds team – Junior Cole Lockey, Junior Cache Sanger and runner-up Peyton Walker – will compete in the 3A championships at Spring Valley Golf Club in Elizabeth. The same goes for Gunderson’s Severance roster – Senior Carson Fagan, Junior Brycen Farris, and Senior Austin Guerette.
Northridge’s Traejan Andrews will compete individually in 4A. Daniel Wyperd from Frontier Academy and Gage Meis from Resurrection Christian will tee off in the 3A tournament.
On Monday, each of these golfers has the chance to realize their dream of winning individual and team state titles.
But for now, the coaches of each team have spent much of the past week looking at their respective teams ‘stroke averages, learning as much as possible about their students’ courses, while evaluating the rest of the field to figure out where they should expect that your team lands in the team classification – and what it takes to exceed these expectations.
Severance senior Austin Guerette will compete on hole 13 on the Coyote Creek Golf Course in Fort Lupton on August 23, 2021. (Courtesy / Josh Gunderson)
“Right now the top team (in 4A) is Cheyenne Mountain, they’re the state defending champions,” said Anderson, who expects his team to be exactly in the mix with a top 3 result of 15 teams. “We were excited. We’ll just see what happens on Tuesday. Hopefully we celebrate something. The opportunity is there. And that’s all you want.”
With a balanced, consistent team that is used to sinking pars, Windsor took seven first places and one second place this fall. The Wizards finished third in the 4A Region 3 tournament on September 21st at the Highland Hills Golf Course in Greeley.
At the 3A Region 3 tournament on September 21 at the Collindale Golf Course in Fort Collins, Severance finished third and Eaton fourth.
Maio said his squad had gone through a minor rebuilding process in recent years. But now the Reds have started to reappear as the eternal contender they were in the past, and a finish in the top half of the 13-team field in the state next week is certainly not out of the question.
The Eaton Boys golf team from left to right: Coach Gino Maio, Matt Paris, Cache Sanger, Peyton Walker, Cole Lockey.
“I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made this year,” said Maio. “The biggest thing for us is that if we putt well and can save a lot of strokes, we can make a lot of progress. I know a lot of teams will likely have problems with the greens (in Spring Valley). “
Eaton didn’t take first places this fall, but it did take a couple of second places.
Severance is just in its third year of high school – and the program – with four third places.
Gunderson admitted his team had a bit of a problem early in the season, even though they were all back from a year ago.
In the past few weeks, however, the Silver Knights have started to find their way. And now they’re shifting their focus to a possible top six placement in the state next week, Gunderson said.
“It’s all about the mindset – knowing that we can’t win the tournament on Day 1, but we can certainly lose it on Day 1,” said Gunderson. “One of the greatest things is going to be keeping the ball in play, which is true of pretty much any golf course. But (Spring Valley) runs along a creek bed, and there are many natural areas and some dangers. “
Bobby Fernandez reports on high school sports for the Greeley Tribune. You can reach him at (970) 392-4478, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @BobbyDFernandez.