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STATE 5A, 4A GOLF: Familiar, but far from home

| October 7, 2022 1:15 AM

By JASON ELLIOTT

Sports writer

It’s going to seem familiar to the kids from Coeur d’Alene High, albeit 471 miles away.

Today, when the Viking boys tee off at the state 5A golf tournament at Teton Lakes Golf Course in Rexburg, they’ll play the back nine first, complete with plenty of water.

Kind of like …

“It’s kind of like Avondale (Golf Club), but with more water,” said third-year Coeur d’Alene boys coach Chase Bennett, whose team will start on the South Fork course this morning. “The front nine (the North Fork course) is laid out more like Prairie Falls. Anytime with golf, if that’s what you’re used to, it’s going to help.”

Coeur d’Alene's boys finished third at state last spring at RedHawk Golf Course in Nampa. Boise won its first title since 1991, with Eagle second.

This year is the first year of a two-year trial of playing the state 5A and 4A golf season in the fall.

“We’ve had spectacular weather all season,” Bennett said. “It’s a shortened season, so we’re packing more into the first five weeks of school. Everyone's a little more polished, but we don’t get to challenge ourselves and play the teams from the Spokane area, Mead and Gonzaga Prep. We’re not getting challenged, and it’s important to have that competition and nerves before you get to state. If they’re high-level performers, they’ll rise to that level. But we’re missing that a little bit this fall because we can’t go to the Washington invites.”

Reid Piron, the defending boys medalist from Boise, returns along with teammate Will Strong, who finished runner-up in May. Wheaton Ennis, boys medalist in 2021 as a freshman at Eagle, is also back after transferring to a school in Arizona. Beau Sahr of Eagle, who finished tied for third last year, is also back.

Sophomore Grant Potter, who finished tied for 15th last spring, is the top Coeur d’Alene finisher back. Trey Nipp and Luke West also played at state for Coeur d’Alene in May.

“Eagle has a few really, really good kids back,” Bennett said. “They’ve got their goals, and we’ve got ours too. The last two years, we’ve finished third, but not that far off second. There’s going to be three or four schools in the mix and you’ll see some competitive numbers there.”

Middleton, with 2022 spring state 4A medalist Curtis Seidel, moved up to the 5A classification this fall.

Seniors Taylor Potter and Payton Blood return for the Viking girls, who finished fifth last spring in coach Jeff Lake’s first season as coach. Lake City senior Joey Heick qualified individually.

Rocky Mountain won the girls team title last spring, its second straight.

Lakeland senior Brady Hanna was the lone local qualifier for the state 4A tournament at Sage Lakes Golf Course in Idaho Falls.

Bishop Kelly beat Twin Falls in a playoff for the boys team title in the spring. Minico won the girls team title, the program’s first.

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