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A return to excellence
Spartans hit the links with a plethora of talented duffers.
After a down season in 2006-07, the Bainbridge boys’ golf team rebounded in a big way last season, taking second place at the Metro tournament, third at districts and earning a silver medal at state.
While some may have been surprised at the team’s showing, head coach Bob Dwyer wasn’t one of them.
“I think we had a legitimate shot at it,” he said of the team’s chances of making state. “I was happy with what they did.”
The rest of the Spartans are ready to take a legitimate shot at a state title for the 2008-09 season.
Bainbridge loses several seniors, including state qualifier and Higgins Memorial champion Sean Leonard and Peter Leslie due to graduation. It’s a young team (just three juniors and one senior), but Dwyer feels there is talent from top to bottom.
“We have a bunch of golf junkies out here,” he said. “We have a lot of kids that have played a lot of golf. You can tell at tryouts the ones that have done tournaments. It makes a difference.
“Everyone showed improvement, which is really amazing,” Dwyer continued.
Returning from last season is senior Kyle Hurt and juniors Austin Clement, Kyle Schneider, Jack Seidl and sophomore Kyle Leonard.
Hurt was part of the team that took second at state, while Schneider and Seidl have improved.
“He’ll (Seidl) be fighting for that number one spot with Kyle (Hurt) and (Carl) Jonson,” Dwyer said.
Jonson, a returning sophomore, had a stellar year last year, topping it off with a tie for second place at state.
Several new golfers make up the team, including sophomores Rob Griffin and Davis Harrison and freshmen Rusty Firth, Kris Thompson and Will Whealdon.
Dwyer is excited about the new golfers and their potential.
“All three of them have solid attitudes and they enjoy what they do out there,” he said.
The team did well in Bainbridge’s first match of the season, a 150-133 win over Seattle Prep Monday.
Jonson led the way with a four-under 32 for 31 Stableford points to win medalist honors.
Furth shot a two-under 34 to take second while Seidl shot a two-over 38.
Whealdon put up a score of 40 while Leonard, Griffin and Clement all shot 42.
Harrison added a 43.
That versatility is what excites Jonson the most about this year’s squad.
“We have six guys that can shoot par or better,” he said. “We have so much talent.”
As for competition, O’Dea is right there with Bainbridge despite losing several players from last year’s state championship team.
Jonson said they’re setting their goals high this season.
“There’s no reason why we can’t send six to state,” he said. “We should come out on top.”
Dwyer feels as long as the golfers succeed at the mental game, they’ll have a successful season.
“I know we’re going to get at least two there (to state),” he said. “I thought we had a good chance to get five or six (to state last year) but they were two strokes off.
“I think the people that smelled that (success) last year have taken the time this summer to figure that out or at least give themselves a chance to get there.”
2008 boys’ golf
● A very young but talented team is shooting high this year, with the ultimate goal of a state title in its sights.
Monday, Sept. 15 - at Franklin at Jefferson GC, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 16 - vs. Nathan Hale, 3 p.m.*
Monday, Sept. 22 - at Ingraham at West Seattle GC, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 23 - vs. Lakeside, 3 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 29 - at West Seattle at West Seattle GC, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 30 - vs. O’Dea, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 7 - vs. Eastside Catholic, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 8 - vs. Bishop Blanchet, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 14 - First Round, Metro League Championships at Jefferson GC, 10 a.m.
Thursday, Oct. 16 - Final Round, Metro League Championships at West Seattle GC, 10 a.m.
Monday, Oct. 20 - 3A Sea-King District 2 tournament at Harbour Pointe GC, Mukilteo, time TBA
*all home games are at Wing Point.