GHS boys golf out drives state

Cowboys finish season strong at state

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Theron Yoder, Sports Editor

The Gunnison High School (GHS) golf team has had one of their best seasons in recent years. They have exceeded expectations and done extremely well in many tournaments. “I’m extremely proud of our team and it was extremely fun to coach these kids” said Coach Kevin Mickelson when asked about the season. 

Throughout the year, the team had many good individual finishes, but nothing tops the “W” that freshman Mason Weisman took at the Central HS Warrior Invitational with a score of 74. He was the 5th seed so it was a pleasant surprise to see him perform so well. 

Gunnison also topped Montrose by two strokes in team score to win their only tournament of the season, and the first one in many years. This number one finish greatly contributed to the confidence of the team moving into future events.

The varsity team went on to get many more top 5 team finishes, including an impressive second place finish at their home tournament with a composite score of 238. But that was not all — senior Daniel Mikkelsen had something to prove that day. 

Mikkelsen was fighting for a varsity spot due to missing two qualifying tournaments early in the season. His motivation paid off, as he went on to shoot the hot score of 75 to win the  Gunnison High School Invitational.

Regionals was up next, with the top four individuals from every school competing in Cortez. The Cowboys were bringing seniors Connor Zummach and Skylor Wild, as well as sophomore Preston Pike and freshman Mason Weisman. These players were fighting to break the target score of 86 to qualify for state. 

The Cowboys represented their team well with three of the four players that went to regionals qualifying for state. Connor Zummach, Skylor Wild, and Preston Pike all had low enough scores to play the next week in Elizabeth. 

Zummach and Wild led the way with an 80, while Pike  was not far behind with an 82. 

State is the only tournament of the year that has two rounds, which greatly increases the difficulty to be consistent through both days. The course, Spring Valley Golf Club, is a tough course with countless bunkers and tons of out of bounds. 

After a practice round the day before, the team was ready to compete. Zummach started off hot with two birdies on the front nine, and held the flame throughout the rest of the round. He finished with a round one score of 82. The next day, Zummach was prepared to play well, with another round on the course under his belt. 

He started off solid, shooting six over par on the front nine holes, but the back nine was a different story. He had two birdies through the first 5 holes on the back, and parred out the last 4. He finished with an 80 in round 2. 

“My performance at state was good. I played well, and felt like I contributed,” said Zummach. He led the team in overall score with a combined score of 162. 

 Wild also had plenty of talent and performed extremely well during the weekend. The first day, Skylor showed his potential by shooting four over par on the front, and parring six holes. 

He stayed consistent through the back-nine to finish with an overall score of 83. The second day he was looking to improve on his score, and he did on the front nine shooting a 39. The back nine was solid, except for a hard blemish with a 10 on hole 16. 

“That’s how golf works, you’re just off some days.,” said Wild. “But the course was beautiful, the experience was spectacular, and I still had lots of fun, which is all that matters in the end.”  

The team performed well, finishing 11th in team rankings. Capping off their season with a solid performance, the team has talent for next year and are hoping to match, if not better their score.