September 16 – CHEYENNE – Mike Lepore started the golf season with the idea that his Cheyenne Central Boys team could be one of the discussion partners for a national championship.
The performance of the Indians this season did little to dampen these expectations.
Central stumbled out of the gate and finished fourth in the Gillette Invitational. It bounced back with a second place followed by a third place. Last week the Indians defeated Sheridan by four strokes to win the 4A East qualification. Her score of 630 would also have won the West qualification.
Central hopes the trend will continue to rise when the 4A state tournament kicks off on Friday at the Snake River Sporting Club in Jackson. The second round of the tournament will be played on Saturday at the Shooting Star Golf Course in Teton Village.
“It’s going to be an interesting state tournament because very few people have played these golf courses,” said Lepore. “They are two different golf courses and they are unlike anything we’ve seen all season.
“It depends on the team that can handle this situation best. I think we are well positioned at the moment and have the same chances as everyone else.”
Junior Caden Cunningham – who finished 13th in the 4A State tournament last year – has been a solid force for the Indians all season and has three runners-up finishes.
Central’s confidence also comes from the fact that the other four players have performed well this season. Alexander Miller was awarded an eighth place at last year’s state meeting. He started the season third at the Gillette Invite, but things have been going up and down ever since. Miller feels like he’s rediscovered his game.
“It’s been a strange season that has been hacked up a lot,” Miller said. “I couldn’t play a lot over the summer because I was working and then I was a little sick last week.
“I’ve found that I usually play better when I go to a tournament with low expectations. I’m better when I chase something. I need to get the feeling that I’m chasing again.”
Zack Wiltanger was third in the East Qualifier with 14 over 154. He improved his score by six strokes on the second day. Wiltanger credits his improvement this season with learning to play less aggressively.
“I hit more fairways,” he said. “I got smarter and stopped pulling my driver on every hole like I used to. I’ve seen a lot of guys I played with irons from the tee and they scored better goals than me even though I drove them away.
“I get much better second strokes and a couple of tap-in pars. You don’t have to play a birdie every hole in high school golf. You just have to get pars.”
Cole Hibbler finished 10th in the State Qualifier last week, carding laps of 83 and 79 for his best result of the season. Jayden Erickson finished 14th with rounds of 81 and 84. Both players will be crucial this weekend, Lepore said.
“It could boil down to 4 and 5 for any team,” said Lepore. “We need our top three to play well to have a chance, but you also need your fourth or fifth man to hit 80 on both days. That will give you a good shot. That is what it comes down to for most.” Teams on. “
Tennis begins its postseason with regional tournament games on Friday and Saturday. The South Regional is played in Cheyenne Central, Cheyenne East, Cheyenne South, Cheyenne Country Club and Holliday Park in Cheyenne.
Class 4A volleyball teams start the conference game this week.
Reigning State Champion Laramie is visiting the East at 6 p.m. tonight. The Thunderbirds will play against city rivals Cheyenne South on Friday at 6 p.m.
Central receives the south today at 6 p.m. The Indians visit Laramie on Friday at 5 p.m.
Burns plays Rawlins on Friday at 3pm in a 3A East Tilt and receives Torrington on Saturday at 11am.
Glenrock visits Pine Bluffs on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Action 2A East.
Central and East are running at the Sweetheart Invitational in Loveland, Colorado on Friday. South and Pine Bluffs-Burns are running at the Rawlins Invite on Friday.
In the pool
East visits Central at 4 p.m. on Friday.
South will swim at the Newcastle Pre-Invite on Friday and the Newcastle Invite on Saturday.
Jeremiah Johnke is the WyoSports editor. He can be reached at [email protected] or 307-633-3137. Follow him on Twitter @jjohnke.
(c) 2021 Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, Wyo.)
Visit Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, Wyo.) At www.wyomingnews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.