Bison dominate home course, claim Coleman Invite golf title

Monday, April 25, 2011
Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette McCook's Drew Shields blurs the golf ball as he tees off on the second hole at the Heritage Hills course April 19 in the Ron Coleman Invitational. The Bison won the meet by 30 strokes over runner-up North Platte.

When it comes to home-course advantages in Nebraska high school golf, the McCook Bison might have the ultimate benefit while hosting their annual Ron Coleman Invitational.

The McCook varsity and junior varsity teams played host 10 other schools Tuesday, April 19, in the annual prep boys golf test at the challenging Heritage Hills Golf Course. The Bison varsity simply blew away the rest of the field with a 30-stroke victory over Class A North Platte.

McCook placed five individuals in the top 10 medalist standings while recording a low team score of 316 strokes in the 18-hole event. North Platte was second with a 346, and Kearney shot 352 for third place.

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette Cory Dallam of McCook eyes his chip shot on the 18th green at Heritage Hills Golf Course as it flies toward the cup in Ron Coleman Invitational high school golf tournament action April 19. Dallam placed ninth to help the Bison win the team title in their annual home meet.

Decatur Community of Oberlin, Kansas carded a 405 team score to finish 10th, and the McCook JV squad had a 437.

Backer claims gold medal

Sean Backer, a sophomore, took home the gold medal with a low total of 76 strokes. Backer had a 40 on the front nine and an even-par 36 on the back. Teammate Ben Vetrovsky, a senior, shot rounds of 39 and 40 for a 79 and third place in the individual standings.

Steve Kodad/McCook Daily Gazette Kade Brown of Decatur Community of Oberlin, Kansas watches his putt roll toward the cup on his final hole April 19 at the Ron Coleman Invitational. Brown shot an 81 to finish seventh in the final individual standings.

Freshman Mack Alspaugh put together rounds of 39 and 41 for an 80 to place fifth, and Cory Dallam fired rounds of 38 and 43 for an 81 to place ninth.

Alan Goodenberger, McCook junior playing for the Bison JV squad, finished 10th overall with rounds of 37 and 45 for an 82.

Senior Drew Shields, McCook's fifth varsity competition, had an off-day with a 90, but Shields still finished 18th in the individual standings.

McCook's other JV scores included Ben Skiles with a 105, David Durner with a 123, Jake Wagner with a 127 and Daruis Bolli with a 134.

Chilly weather early

Tuesday started off with weather perhaps better suited for football than golf. McCook head coach Rick Haney said competitors faced chilly temperatures -- "You can-see-your-breath cold," Haney said -- heavy humidity and breezy conditions. With the unfavorable conditions, the Bison coach said his team set a goal of shooting under 320 for the day.

"The kids battled through the first several holes in those types of conditions, then managed to hit some better weather toward the end," Haney said, "and 316 is very good for today."

The chilly conditions early and the tough Heritage Hills layout can make for a long day on the golf course.

"This course here is very difficult from the aspect that it's not forgiving," Haney said, "It's set up with the ups and downs, the elevated greens and tees. If you can't keep it in the short grass, it's going to punish you."

Decatur Community of Oberlin was paced by Kade Brown, who finished seventh overall with rounds of 44 and 37 for an 81. Garrett Berry also finished 15th for the Devils with rounds of 47 and 39 for an 86.

District, state goals

McCook finished sixth in last year's Class B state golf championship tournament. The Bison will likely have their sights set on a better finish, and perhaps that top spot this year in Class B state competition next month at the Kearney Country Club. Of course, McCook will first have to qualify for state in the B-4 District meet May 17 at the Monument Shadows course in Gering.

The Bison have been shooting strong scores early this season, and Coach Haney is pleased with his team's effort so far.

"Right now we're where I would hope we would be," he said. "You hate to go into anything with expectations because simply you're setting yourself up for disappointment. You certainly have hopes and you certainly have goals, and we set our goals pretty high, and the kids are working very hard.

"Our primary goal is to go to districts and win districts and get to state, and bring home a high place in state. What that place will be will be predicated, of course, on the two days we have (at state), and if we can put together two good rounds and have four solid scores each of those two days. That's yet to be seen. We definitely have that in our sights."


Tuesday at Heritage Hills Golf Course

Team Standings

1. McCook316
2. North Platte346
3. Kearney352
4. York354
5. Ogallala378
6. Holdrege380
7. Minden387
8. Cozad392
9. Lexington399
10. Decatur Comm. (Kansas)405
11. Colby (Kansas)417
12. McCook JV437

Top 15 Individual Medalists

(Ties broken by scorecard playoff)

1. Sean Backer, McCook76
2. Cameron Bagnall, North Platte78
3. Ben Vetrovsky, McCook79
4. Tyler Zoellner, Ogallala80
5. Mack Alspaugh, McCook80
6. Chet Wallace, Kearney81
7. Kade Brown, Decatur Comm.81
8. Jonas Christensen, York81
9. Cory Dallam, McCook81
10. Alan Goodenberger, McCook82
11. Evan Norton, York85
12. Shad Wellman, Lexington85
13. James Osborn, Kearney85
14. Trev Flanders, North Platte85
15. Garrett Berry, Decatur Comm.86

McCook Individual Scores

Sean Backer40 - 36 -- 76
Ben Vetrovsky39 - 40 -- 79
Mack Alspaugh39 - 41 -- 80
Cory Dallam38 - 43 -- 81
Drew Shields43 - 47 -- 90

McCook JV Individual Results

Alan Goodenberger37 - 45 -- 82
Ben Skiles53 - 52 -- 105
David Durner52 - 71 -- 123
Jake Wagner57 - 70 -- 127
Darius Bolli65 - 69 -- 134

Decatur Community Individual Results

Kade Brown44 - 37 -- 81
Garrett Berry47 - 39 -- 86
Brent Juenemann52 - 55 -- 107
Tyler Bruggeman72 - 59 -- 131
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