Warriors repeat as 2A golf champs
They have become a prep golf dynasty, without question.
The Whittell High School boys’ golf team secured its second straight state golf championship and third in eight years on Tuesday in Needles, Calif.
Whittell added to a 19-shot first-round lead to win the Nevada 2A title by 34 strokes over White Pine at Rivers Edge Golf Course. North Tahoe finished third.
“We have more fun, more like a family that way, and that’s why I think we play well together,” said Whittell junior Geof Caliger.
Junior Jonathan Szendrey became only the second Whittell golfer to capture the individual championship. His second consecutive 8-over-par round of 79 gave him a two-shot margin of victory over Chris Robison of White Pine.
“An amazing job. The wind was blowing 30 mph all day, so he showed great composure to come in with back-to-back scores in the 70s,” said Whittell coach Steve Maltase.
Ryan Saloman was the first Warrior to win state, claiming the title in 2001.
” I had to stay focused and not worry about bad shots,” Szendrey said. “It was hard, though, trying to keep shots lower and clubbing up when I needed to.”
Whittell senior Tyler Fairbank carded an 82 to finish third with a 162 total – four shots behind Szendrey. Fairbank said the constant winds made for a round full of decision-making.
“I had lots of club changes today. No club was the same on any two shots. I had to try to play the wind the entire time,” Fairbank said.
Michael Koskin, a sophomore, was the only other Warrior to make the final top 10. Koskin followed his round of 81 with a 90 to finish in a tie for seventh at 171.
Freshman T.J. Kolesnik of the Warriors posted the sixth-best score Tuesday with an 85, including a 40 on the back nine. He finished at 176. Caliger and Trevor Fairbank were right behind Kolesnik with 179 and 180 totals, respectively.
“It feels good, especially being a freshman and winning state,” Kolesnik said.
Final team scores were Whittell 839, White Pine 873, North Tahoe 886, Battle Mountain 932, The Meadows 953 and Needles 972.
Last year, the Warriors celebrated their state championship by jumping into Lake Tahoe. The team declined soaking their coach in the Colorado River on Tuesday for safety reasons.
“It was moving quick,” Tyler Fairbank said. “I don’t think we would have survived the drive back.”
Maltase was content to take the team to Las Vegas for some rollercoaster rides on Tuesday night.
“I probably would have wound up at one of the other golf courses or something,” Maltase said. “They needed a driver, so it wouldn’t have been a good idea (pushing me into the river).”
More important than the state title, Maltase said, was the academic state championship the Warriors earned.
“They are pretty smart and good-natured guys,” Maltase said. “The kids are working hard in the summer to improve, and they have a good time doing it. We try to keep loose, have a good time and work hard.”
As for the dynasty, Maltase isn’t denying one. With most of the team returning next season, a third straight state championship should be within their reach.
“I hope we keep building on it,” Maltase said. “We’re returning five guys next year, so we should have another good run.”
Nevada 2A State Boys’ Golf Championships
Tuesday’s final round
at Rivers Edge Golf Course, Needles, Calif.
1. Whittell 839, 2. White Pine 873, 3. North Tahoe 886, 4. Battle Mountain 932, 5. The Meadows 953, 6. Needles 972.
Top 10 Individual scores
1. Jonathan Szendrey, Whittell, 79-79-158; 2. Chris Robison, White Pine, 79-81-160; 3. Tyler Fairbank, Whittell, 80-82-162; 4. Niko Dobrescu 85-82-167 (won tiebreaker); 5. Alec Griffith, North Tahoe, 79-88-167; 6. Foster Kenton, Hawthorne, 80-87-167; 7. Joey Valasquez, Lake Mead, 91-80-171 (won tiebreaker); 8. Michael Koskin, Whittell, 81-90-171; 9. David Anderson, The Meadows, 83-90-173; 10. Jerrick Price, West Wendover, 87-87-174.
Other Whittell scores
TJ Kolesnik 91-85-176; Geof Caliger 83-96-179; Trevor Fairbank 91-89-190.
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