Polson High School golf coach Bill Owen is still in the process of solidifying his three through five spots on his boy’s golf team and as usual on the Pirates golf team, the competition for spots is fierce.
“I have a couple of players that have some varsity experience but aside from that, they are going to have to step up,” Owen said. “I also have some freshmen that have made the cut and (some of them) look pretty promising.”
The Pirates golf team finished strong with some other players that were promising including in their first tournament of the season at the Old Works golf course in Anaconda. Several players held their own in the four-team tournament that included Hamilton, Laurel, Billings Central and Polson.
Matt Hobbs led the team by firing an 81 with No. 2 player Trey Kelley competing with Hobbs by shooting an 83. The No. 3 and No. 4 payers were also close in competition with Calvin Nowlen firing a 93 and Colby Devlin shooting a 94. The fifth-place player Jackson Siefert finished the tournament firing a 104.
The Pirates began their first tournament of the season with solid results but according to Owen, his team still hasn’t reached its potential.
“The thing that I like about our team is that I am certain that we are going to get better and have some more (internal) competition,” Owen said. “I feel like these guys, given their work ethic, are going to move this year. I don’t know how far for certain, but we are going to be improved by the end of the year. I am hoping that we’ll be a trophy contender.”
Matt Hobbs has taken up where last year’s senior Carson McDaniel left off in 2017. McDaniel, who is starting his freshman year in college at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, created an opportunity for Hobbs to emerge as the top leader of the Pirates team, and according to Owen, the senior has embraced his new role with the team.
“It helps a lot and just like Carson did last year, Matt Hobbs is starting to take on (that leadership role),” Owen said. “He is setting a good example and I really feel is blossoming into a leader. We are excited about that.”
Just like McDaniel and Hobbs used to compete with each other as the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in practice and during the tournaments, Hobbs and No. 2 golfer Trey Kelley continue to fiercely compete with each other on the greens.
“(Carson and Hobbs) used to go at it and want to beat each other, and that is much like what we have this year with Trey and Matt,” Owen said. “I’ll try to get them out on the course and get going at each other. The competition doesn’t hurt us. They’ll try to go after each other, too, which is what I like is that they are competitors.”
Owen has credited his boys team with what he has referred to as “healthy competition” and has praised their maturity by finding a delicate balance between competing with each other and still keeping the team concept.
“They keep the team element in mind and they don’t act selfishly,” Owen said. “I was pretty excited about them last year and this year it is the same thing. They really care about each other and how they do as team, and that makes it fun to coach.”
Cannon captures first at OLD Works
The Polson High School girls golf team scored high as individuals during the Old Works tournament Wednesday at Anaconda.
Lady Pirates’ junior Cali Cannon fired a 91 on the golf course and that was good enough to capture a first place medal in the first tournament of the season.
“(This tournament) is not the best indicator of where we are at,” Owen said. “My three girls thought they were ready for varsity competition. They were really competitive for that title in that meet. We are going to have to give one of them a try. We should have four scoring girls in the next tournament and see how we shake out.”
Seniors Amanda Farley and Cali Cannon have also embraced the leadership role on the team.
“They are really doing a great job trying to influence the other players on their team,” Owen said. “Both Farley and Cannon work hard and they are both players that we rely on for a leadership role.”
Sports Editor’s Note: The following are the results from the 2018 MCPS Invitational Monday afternoon at the Missoula Country Club.
2018 MCPS Invitational
Missoula Country Club
Monday, August 20
Team scores: Missoula Sentinel 322, [Polson 323], Helena Capital 325, Stevensville 330, Missoula Big Sky 332, Hamilton 332, Polson 335, Kalispell Glacier 350, Helena High 361, Kalispell Flathead 366, Missoula Hellgate 369, Corvallis 387.
Top 15 Individuals
1, Matt Hobbs (POL) 72; t2, Jack Johnston (SHS) 76; t2, Zel Frost (STEV) 76; t2, Trey Kelley (POL) 76; 5, Gabe Withman (CAP) 77;
t6, Zach Taylor (HAM) 78; t6, Trevor Swanson (CAP) 78; 8, Zach Harvey (BIG) 79; 9, Joe Opitz (SHS) 80; 10, Connor Kessler (SHS) 81; t11, Tristan Hanson (HAM) 82; t11, Caleb Binfet (HEL) 82; t11, Brett Stoos (CAP) 82; t14, Carson Sucheki (BIG) 83; t14, Jacob Watters (STEV) 83.
POLSON (335) – Matt Hobbs 72, Trey Kelley 76, Calvin Nowlen 86, Colby Devlin 89, Jeff Devlin 98.
STEVENSVILLE (330) – Zel Frost 76, Jacob Watters 83, Jayce Painter 85, Ivan Yazvac 86, Coltin Mauler 96.
HAMILTON (332) – Zach Taylor 78, Tristan Hanson 82, Tanner Hanson 85, Bryce Reed 87, Brayce Clack 106.
CORVALLIS (387) – Luke Schlimgen 84, Michael McKay 92, Matt Glenn 105, Ashton Pintok 106.
Team scores: Helena High 368, Kalispell Flathead 388, Missoula Sentinel 402, Kalispell Glacier 402, Helena Capital 404, Corvallis 427, Polson 439, Hamilton 493.
Top 15 Individuals
1, Macee Greenwood (COR) 77; 2, Emily Garden (SHS) 79; 3, Marcella Mercer (FLA) 82; t4, Reyla Williams (HEL) 84; t4, Cali Cannon (POL) 84; 6, Kylee Longnecker (CAP) 88; 7, Ginny Kerr (HEL) 89; t8, Alanna Griffin (GLA) 90; t8, Kelci Martin (HAM) 90;
10, Lexi McNew (CAP) 93; 11, Jasi Oyler (STEV) 95; 12, Lauren Williams (HEL) 96; t13, Kate Nelson (SHS) 97; t13, Jillian Wynne (FLA) 97; t13, Cassidy Lavin (FLA) 97.
POLSON (439) – Cali Cannon 84, Amanda Farley 105, Esme Yarbourgh 123, Ellie Thiel 127.