WHS eyeing fifth consecutive zone golf title | TahoeDailyTribune.com

WHS eyeing fifth consecutive zone golf title

Jeremy Evans
Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily Tribune Mike Flanagan, center, and the rest of the Whittell High School golf team practice on the driving range Wednesday at the Golf Club at Genoa Lakes.

The expectations for the Whittell High School golf team are the same as they have been the last four years: win a zone title and challenge for a state title. After a disappointing fifth-place finish last year at the 2A state tournament, the Warriors look poised to do just that.

Coach Steve Maltase, who led the team to a fourth consecutive zone title last season, will rely on four returners and a few unproven underclassmen this season.

“We’re optimistic for our season,” Maltase said. “We returned four of our top six guys. Depending on how our last two guys come around is going to determine how our season turns out. Our goals right now are to win zone and finish in the top three at state. Having our main guys back from last year should help out.”

What also should help out is this year’s state tournament is at The Golf Club and Genoa Lakes and Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. It will be the first time since 2001 the state tournament has been held in Northern Nevada, which was also the same year Whittell last won state.

“We definitely want to get back to the top three at state,” said senior and three-year letterman Mike Flanagan. “We had a little trouble last season. It should be a big help because we get to play both Genoa and Edgewood. We definitely need another zone title. You don’t want the senior season where you are the one to break the streak.”

Flanagan, fellow senior Scott Lusby and junior Tim Lipovsky have pretty much secured the top three spots in the Warriors’ rotation. After that, there are several players who could step up.

Marty Rahbeck, a sophomore who participated in state last season, upstart freshman Tyler Fairbanks, and returner Collin Farnsworth are all likely candidates. Last Friday at the Icebreaker Tournament at Genoa, Fairbanks shot a 95 in helping Whittell to place fifth.

“That was a bright spot for a freshman to shoot a 95 in his first- ever tournament,” Maltase said. “I think Nos. 1-3 is all we know right now. The first three are solid. They got a lot of experience. We hope by the time we get back from spring break we’re starting to kick it into gear. Right now we’re just cracking down on the fundamentals.”

The Warriors main challenger for Northern 2A supremacy is Hawthorne, which finished fourth at state last year. The Serpents, though, lost several golfers from last year’s team. The Meadows, which has won the past three state titles, is again the favorite to win state. Needles also figures to be in the mix.

If the Warriors are to get back to their usual perch among the state’s elite, they will have to turn in better performances at state. Whittell finished first, second and third, respectively, before taking fifth last season, and Flanagan’s tie for ninth was the team’s best individual result.

“That was kind of disappointing last year,” said Lipovsky, who finished in a tie for 17th. “I think we have tougher courses (up here), and that should play to our advantage at state. I think we’re looking pretty good, really solid. I want to see us win zone and state. I want to see that happen. Having state at your home course? Can’t get much better than that.”

2005 Whittell Golf Team Schedule

Date Location Time

March 17 Fernley G.C. 10 a.m.

March 24 Dayton Valley 10 a.m.

April 1 Arrow Creek G.C. 10 a.m.

April 8 Sierra Nevada Golf Ranch 10 a.m.

April 15 Eagle Valley G.C. 10 a.m.

April 22 TBA 10 a.m.

April 29 Wolf Run G.C. 10 a.m.

May 6 Edgewood G.C. 10 a.m.

May 12 *Northern 2A Tournament 10 a.m.

May 18-19 ^Nevada 2A Tournament 10 a.m.

*Being held in Jackpot; ^Hosted by Whittell and being held at Genoa Lakes and Edgewood.

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