Panthers impress on home course

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The Powell High School golf teams continued their spring schedule with a tournament on their home course last week, welcoming 90 golfers from 11 schools to Powell Golf Club.

Nine golfers competed for the Panthers, making it by far the largest turnout of the season for Powell. The Lady Panthers were able to post a team score for the first time “in a while,” and that’s a trend Powell head coach Troy Hildebrand would like to see continue into the fall.

“As a team, this was by far our best day of the spring and one of the best that we have had in recent memory,” Hildebrand said. “We were able to get six boys and three girls on the course and they all did a very nice job.”

That included two Powell boys and one girl cracking the top 10 and fifth place team finishes.

“I was really proud of how the kids held their rounds together and finished strong Friday,” Hildebrand said. “That was something that we had struggled with last fall and they really stepped up and put together a quality performance.”

For the Lady Panthers, Mycah Wainscott carded a fifth-place finish, shooting a 91 on the day. Hildebrand said the young golfer flirted with breaking 80 her entire round, which would have been a career first.

“What a great day for Mycah,” Hildebrand said. “She played outstanding and was truly one tough hole away from shooting her first ever round in the 80s. She had a lost ball on a hole and that penalty is all that kept her from posting a round in the 80s. She is hitting the ball great and her confidence is improving each week.”

Teammates Cat Wilson and Bailey Kennedy shot identical scores of 131 in what Hildebrand said was the first tournament experience for both.

“I was extremely proud of these two [Wilson and Kennedy],” he said. “They kept a great attitude all day and they had a great time. This was the first time that either of the girls had played a walking 18-hole round, so this is certainly a nice place to start from.”

On the boys’ side, Panther Crandell Sanders carded the lowest score for Powell with an 81, good enough for seventh place. Hildebrand said Sanders has been working hard on his game all winter, and the work is starting to pay off.

“[Sanders] was just having a tough stretch in his rounds up until Friday,” the coach said. “He did a great job of finishing out his round strong with a 40 on the front and a 41 on the back. This was a huge step forward for him and will give him some real confidence moving forward.”

Bennett Walker also carded a top-10 finish for the Panthers, tying for 10th place with an 84.

“Bennett [Walker] shot 40-44 Friday in posting his career best tournament round to date,” Hildebrand said. “He has been hitting the ball very well this spring and he did an excellent job of just sticking with it and getting all parts of his game to come together. This should be a round that he can draw on in the future.”

Despite working through some swing changes in his game, Panther Aidan Smith shot a solid round, carding a 107.

“He had a very tough three-hole stretch on his back nine that hurt his score,” Hildebrand said. “With his commitment to working on his game, I am confident with where he is going to be by next fall.”

Teammate George Higgins followed with a 108, and Hildebrand said the young golfer seems to improve with every outing.

“He [Higgins] is a real thinker, and works very hard to understand the game and what is happening within his swing,” Hildebrand said. “Considering he had never swung a golf club as of last August, his progress to this point is remarkable. He’s definitely putting in the work and it is nice to see him being rewarded for those efforts.”

Despite a rough start to the tournament, Panther Yogi Sullivan kept a positive attitude while posting a 120.

“He is a player that has shown some bright spots and the more rounds he can get in, the better for him,” Hildebrand said.

Rounding out the scoring for the Panthers was Kason Cannon, carding a 123. One of the newer golfers to the program, Hildebrand said Cannon shows a true appreciation for the game, and a willingness to get better.

“Kason [Cannon] didn’t have any disastrous holes Friday but he struggled to get away from making a lot of sevens in his round,” Hildebrand said. “He has improved dramatically during his one year with us, and seems to truly enjoy the game. He always keeps an upbeat approach and he sees the improvements that he is making.”

Powell wraps up its spring schedule Friday with a tournament in Cody.

“It’s nice to be close to home and on a course that most of our players have some experience on,” Hildebrand said. “I’d like to see us build off of the many positives that we had in our tournament.”

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