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Five Storylines to Watch at State Golf


By Brad Hallier


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – After several days of cool and wet temperatures across Kansas, the forecast is looking promising for the seven Kansas State High School Activities Association state golf tournaments on Monday and Tuesday.

Here are five storylines to watch for at the various state tournaments.

Central Christian looking for second straight state title

Last spring, the Cougars won their first state title, taking Class 1A. It was just the second state title in the school’s athletics history.

The Cougars appear to have the team to repeat at this year’s 1A tournament, which will be played at Emporia Municipal. Central Christian dominated the Burrton regional at Wedgewood Golf Course, winning the team championship by a staggering 49 strokes. The Cougars were so dominant that all six golfers finished in the top 14, led by sophomore Nathan Reed’s 82.

Although comparing scores across different regionals is apples to oranges, there was just one team that beat Central Christian’s regional score, and that was South Gray (337) at the Greeley County regional.

Hesston also going for repeat

Coached by Hesston native Grady Pauls, the Swathers are one of the state’s most underrated golf schools. Last year’s championship was Hesston’s 10th state golf title and eighth in the current format.

Hesston smoked the field in the Class 3A regional on its home course, coming in with a 314. That beat fellow 3A power Wichita Collegiate by a whopping 18 strokes. The only 3A team that came remotely close to Hesston’s regional score – again, keeping in mind the apples-to-oranges comparison – with Olathe Heritage Christian Academy’s 318 at the Osage City regional.

The course will be tough, as Dodge City’s Mariah Hills is one of the tougher courses in Kansas. But Hesston will be ready and primed for another title.

How will Hutchinson’s Ty Adkins fare in the toughest classification?

Hutchinson’s drop to Class 5A hasn’t necessarily been a good thing this school year. Ask the girls basketball team, soccer teams and football team.

Salthawk senior Ty Adkins is one of the premier golfers in Kansas. He was state runner-up last year in Class 6A by just one stroke. As a sophomore, Adkins was sixth in 6A.

According to Kansas Golf Scores, Adkins ranks ninth in Kansas, across all classifications, in terms of average score at 72.33 strokes per round. That’s sixth in Class 5A. Three of the four players in stroke average are from 5A, including No. 1 Noah Holtzman from Bishop Carroll (68.14), No. 2 Asher Whitaker from Kapaun Mount Carmel (69.43) and No. 4 Conner Geist from Kapaun (71.57).

You thought Andale was all about football, basketball, track, softball, volleyball and baseball? Please.

OK, so Andale won’t have much of a chance at winning a trophy at the Class 4A tournament in Winfield, But the Indians still qualified for state in a balanced regional at Hesston, where the difference between second-place Clay Center and fifth-place Buhler was just 12 strokes. Andale finished third, one stroke ahead of McPherson.

Just another sport Andale excels in, among pretty much every other one.

Sand Greens still going strong

Kansas is the lone state still to offer a state championship for Sand Greens. Although the number of sand-greens courses are dwindling, and the number of teams playing on sand greens dwindling, it’s still a viable state championship. This year, 10 schools will be represented, and only seven have enough players to compete for the team championship. But it’s a tradition that feels like it will continue until it can’t.