Five-peat possible for Whittell golf
Special to the Tribune
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – For the Whittell golf team, success is measured by state championships. With four of its top six players returning from last year’s state title season, the Whittell boys’ golf team should have continued its success this spring.
“We look forward to defending our titles, but it will be tough with all the good teams in the 2A this year,” said WHS coach Steve Maltase, who’s led the team to the past four 2A state titles.
“If we improve throughout the season, we will be in contention.”
Whittell has an additional advantage in its quest for another title since it hosts the state tournament on May 16-17 at Genoa Lakes and Edgewood. Leading the way for the Warriors are returners Trevor Fairbank, Jake Williams, T.J. Kolesnik and Nick Smith. Newcomers Rob Caliger, Derek Werle and Peter Jones should solidify the individual scores for the Warriors, who also captured their seventh regional title in 10 years in 2010.
Fairbank was Whittell’s top finisher at last year’s state tournament, finishing in a tie for second in the individual tournament. He finished with a personal-best 1-over 72, including four birdies, in the tournament. Kolesnik fired a personal-best 77 in the tournament’s second round, while Williams posted a 78 in the final round.
Despite the impressive individual performances, rivals North Tahoe and Incline will threaten Whittell’s state title hopes. North Tahoe led Whittell heading into the final round of last year’s state tournament, and it took an impressive score of 384 to catapult Whittell to the top of the team standings.
So far this spring, though, the Warriors have been the top team at two tournaments. Whittell won a tournament hosted by Hawthorne and a weather-shortened tournament hosted by Incline.
“North Tahoe and Incline are the teams who will pose the biggest challenges for us,” said Maltase, who’s led the program to five state titles during his career. “We have a long way to go and we need to improve, but it should be a great year.”