After 18 holes the Kellogg boys are sitting just one stroke out of first place and things are looking pretty good as they move into day two of state competition at Twin Lakes Golf Course.
The Wildcats played a pedestrian game (by their standards) during the first round of play, but still managed to be neck and neck with a Fruitland team that played a nearly perfect game and only managed a one stroke lead over the Wildcats.
Wildcat golfer Chase Jerome began his first round strong, but on his final hole of the day he had some unexpected struggles that he had to overcome.
“I didn’t finish well today,” Jerome said. “I finished with a 78 when I should have had a 74. With us being so close, it makes me feel pretty good knowing that I can adjust where I struggled and hopefully we can improve as a team.”
Kellogg coach Simon Miller likes where his boys finished and is confident that the Wildcats will make the adjustments necessary to improve their score.
“I thought that with our scores, if we finished the day within five strokes of the lead then we would be in good shape,” Miller said. “They (Fruitland) played a great first round, but I think we left ourselves a lot of room for improvement despite the scores being so close.”
Aside from Jerome’s 78, Kellogg was paced by Tyler Gibbons (80), Taylor Bush (82), and Cade Finlay (83).
The Wildcat girls found themselves in a tough third place spot following the first day of state competition, but are still very much alive in the trophy hunt if they can fine tune some of their errors.
Kat Rauenhorst struggled during the first nine holes, but after some serious adjustments she finished in fourth place individually and within striking distance of the top individual spot.
As far as the team goes, Coach Miller has alluded to the fact that all four of his girls can score under the 100 stroke mark, which would seriously move them into contention.
Miller had mentioned previously what he believes the girls need to do in order to be successful and now it is accurate as ever.
“If our girls all shoot under 100. They have all done it at one point or another, but they’ve never done it together,” Miller said. “We know that Kat will shoot somewhere in the mid 80’s, but if the rest of the girls all stay under 100 or even 105, that puts us right with Buhl or better.”
They are going to need to shave several strokes and hope that Buhl and Weiser cool off if they want to get back into team contention, but it’s definitely doable.
Rauenhorst finished with an 89 for the day and was followed by Morgan Nusz (109), Emma Bristow (112), and Anika Sundstrom (117).
Wallace’s Josh Allen paced the Miners with a solid first round score of 84 to help his team find their way into the top 10 during the 1A/2A state match at Circling Raven Golf Course.
Although several strokes back of the top two spots, The Miners can still make a push for a top five finish with a little luck and some improvement.
Allen’s 84 was the top score for the Miners, but he was followed by Hunter Gust (94), Logan Hull (105), and Hayden Hogamier (112).
Miner Kayla Bayer (136) struggled during her first round, but can hopefully improve her individual place tomorrow.