The Kimball High boy's golf team picked up two wins this past week and have opened up the season just the way coach Chad Wise predicted they would. After the Bayard Tournament was cancelled due to bad weather, and the Chase County Tournament was also cancelled, the Longhorns finally got the season underway at the Mitchell Invite on April 11. It was a windy, but fairly nice day, according to Wise. Play on the 9 hole Mitchell course was very slow, however, as the Wester Conference Tournament was held in conjunction with the Mitchell Invite which involved 14 schools total!
Kimball came out strong with good scoring from all five members of the varsity team. The Horns won the team title with 311 strokes, 11 better than runner-up Sidney with 322. Behind the top two were Scottsbluff with 334, Gering 346, Bridgeport 359, Chadron 362, Mitchell 374, Alliance 383, Garden County 387, Crawford 396 and Bayard 451.
Eric Stevens of Bridgeport took home the medalist honors with his round of 70. Sophomore Zane Anthony was Kimball's top golfer finishing second in the runner-up spot with his solid round of 73. Jordan Greenwood finished fifth with 78 and Andrew McCloud shot his best career round of 78 to finish sixth. Dillon Wise was Kimball's fourth golfer in the top ten medal group with his round of 82 and Izaac Reuter rounded out Kimball's scoring with a round of 87.
With each school able to play five golfers and score the best four scores, Kimball's 311 averaged out at 77.75 strokes per golfer, an awesome figure, and one coach Wise was happy with, but also one that he says could and will be better.
"Zane and Andrew played well," Wise said. "Izaac would have scored much better but his putting hurt him. Jordan can shoot a better score for certain but had some big numbers on a hole where someone reportedly picked up his ball causing him to have to play a lost ball, for the second straight year, this happened on the same course. Now you know why I say yes, I am happy, but we can play even better." Coach Wise went on to say that they have a goal of shooting under 300 each and every time out.
Two days later, on Thursday, April 13, the Horns picked up their second win of the season at the Bridgeport Tournament. Sophomore Dillon Wise captured his first individual championship with his round of 77 to win medalist honors on the day and lead Kimball to the team title. Kimball had the top three spots as Greenwood finished second with 79 and McCloud was third with 80. Once again Kimball had four golfers in the top ten medal groups with Anthony in the number nine spot with his round of 86. Reuter was just one stroke out of the top ten with his round of 88.
A total of 15 schools sent golfers to Bridgeport with 11 schools vying for team honors. Kimball came out on top with their 322 on a rather nasty day in Western Nebraska. They were 14 strokes better than runner-up Mullen with 336. Gordon-Rushville shot 377, Bridgeport 380, Garden County 381, Mitchell 407, Creek Valley 408, Scottsbluff 434, Morrill 436, Bayard 454 and Bridgeport JV 533. Hemingford, Hyannis, Chase County and Hay Springs did not have team scores.
It was once again a day where big numbers prevented Kimball players from shooting outstanding rounds. Four Kimball golfers shot in the 30s on the front nine but only one also had a round in the 30s on the back nine and that was Dillon Wise with his rounds of 39-38=77. Greenwood hot the low nine-hole score of 37 on the front but came back with a 42 on the back nine after taking a nine on the 16th hole. Anthony shot a front nine score of 38 but after taking a 12 on a back nine hole, shot 48 on the back nine.
"We just had some bad holes, some big number holes. We need to eliminate there. When we do, we will get our team scores down under the 300 goal that we are trying to achieve," coach Wise said.
Kimball was to compete at the Morrill Tournament this past Tuesday, and on Monday they will be at the Scottsbluff Country Club for a 9 a.m. start. Following that is the SPVA Conference tournament at North Platte on April 28 and, the next day, the Western Trails Conference Tournament at Mitchell on April 29. The Longhorns will close out the regular season with their own invite on May 4 before moving into district tournament play the week of May 15.