Golfers head to state

Posted 9/17/20

It might seem like the school year has just begun, but Powell High School’s golf season will wrap up this week with the two-day Class 3A State Tournament in Evanston.

The Powell boys team …

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Golfers head to state

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It might seem like the school year has just begun, but Powell High School’s golf season will wrap up this week with the two-day Class 3A State Tournament in Evanston.

The Powell boys team — made up of senior George Higgins, junior Brandon Wentz and freshmen Gunnar Erickson, Isaiah Woyak and Andrew Jones — are coming off their best showing of the season at the conference tournament. Meanwhile, the lone PHS girl, senior Maddi Hackenberg, fired a career-best round last week.

Lyman is technically hosting the state tournament, but the Friday-Saturday event is being played at Evanston’s Purple Sage Golf Course.

Higgins is looking to close out a season full of top-10 finishes, including a third-place finish at conference.

“He heads to state with a lot of confidence,” PHS head coach Troy Hildebrand said of Higgins, “and Purple Sage in Evanston is a course that he had some success on last fall that he will be able to draw upon.”

Beyond the Panthers, the field at state will include players from Lyman, Star Valley, Pinedale, Green River, Lander, Buffalo, Douglas, Cody, Lovell, Wheatland, Rawlins, Worland, Torrington and Riverton.

“Worland has proved to be the dominant team on the boys’ side but Cody has been consistently second and closing the gap and Riverton has shown signs of being in the mix as well,” Hildebrand said. “On the girls’ side Lovell is coming off of a great weekend and will look to build on that momentum. Green River, Star Valley, Lander and Riverton will look to challenge them.”

Jaren Calkins of Lander — who strung together a torrid birdie-eagle-birdie stretch to fire an even-par 72 and win the western conference tourney in Powell last week — is the defending state champion. Karsten Simmons of Worland, who won in 2018, freshman Parker Paxton of Riverton and JT Klinghagen of Worland are other players averaging under 75, Hildebrand said.

On the girls’ side, freshman Erika Cook of Lovell fired a personal best of 77 at the Powell Golf Club to win conference last week. Hildebrand expects her to be in the mix for top individual honors, alongside teammate Adessa Lundberg and Isabell Salas of Green River.

—By CJ Baker

(Editor's note: This version corrects George Higgins' year.)

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