White Pine High School golf coach Randy Long almost has his six-man lineup set for the divisional round of the post-season. He knows who his top five players are, but the battle for the sixth and final spot is still ongoing.
“I think competition is always a good thing,” Long said.
Long decided to sit out his fifth man on the team to give the two golfers, Kellen Wilkin and Dalton Westlund, a chance to go head to head in Wells.
“I wanted them both to play heads up as starters,” the coach said. “What we do is we take their tournament scores from across the season and compare them. After this past meet there is only one stroke separating the two of them so I’m having them compete more in practice.”
Collin Young won the Wells meet with a low score of 74. He was followed by his older brother Chris Young, who finished in second with a 76. Tyler Kane took fifth place in the meet, tying his career low of 82. White Pine finished second overall in the meet, losing by three strokes to Battle Mountain. Long pointed out that if his normal fifth man had his score accounted for, White Pine would’ve actually won the meet by two strokes.
After the meet in Wells, the Northeastern Nevada High Desert League of golf teams, composed from high school golf teams in both northern and southern Nevada, released that Chris Young has the lowest stroke average of any player in the league. In a addition, Young was named the Most Valuable Player in the league. Collin Young and Tyler Kane were both named to the first team and Seth Robertson was named to the second team in the league’s yearly honors.
“This is a good group of kids. They’ve been pushing each other and they know that nothing is a given. It was nice to see some of them recognized by the league, it sure put a smile on the kids’ faces,” Long said.
The coach said at the beginning of the season that he had high expectations for this year’s team and that they had a higher ceiling for their potential than any of their rivals. When asked whether or not the team has reached that ceiling, Long said that they are close and that most of the players have already reached their goals they set for themselves.
“Chris Young broke into the 60’s with a 69 this year. Collin Young has won several tournaments and shot in the 70’s. Tyler Kane has matched his career best and I fully expect him to break into the 70’s before the end of the season. The bottom half of our team has improved dramatically as well,” Long said.
That all bodes well for the Bobcat golfers as they head into their final regular season meets before beginning division, with a tournament in Spring Creek on Thursday and another in Tahoe on Friday.