Ranger boys win Central A Division

 

By Thomas E. Watson
Enterprise Staff Writer

 

Led by individual champion Winston Oppelt, the Park High boys golf team won the Central A Divisional golf championship on Saturday in Browning.

Playing at the East Glacier Golf Course, the Ranger boys beat four other teams to win the division championship by 10 strokes. The Rangers shot a 377, with Belgrade’s 387 being the next closest score.

“I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of each and every one of my golfers,” said head coach Liz Cahoon. “The boys took first place overall, and I had four boys in the top 15 individually. My senior girl, Hunterrose Goetz, placed third individually, as well.

“We anticipated a snowstorm in Browning, but surprisingly, the weather was beautiful during our practice round and tournament. There were high winds on Saturday, but I think that played in our favor as we are generally used to practicing and playing in the wind.”

Park’s division championship was spurred by Winston Oppelt, who won the tournament thanks to a great performance on the back-nine.

Two strokes behind with nine holes to play, Oppelt shot a 39 over the final nine holes to turn a two-stroke deficit into a three-stroke lead.

Oppelt’s 86 was enough to win the tournament over Havre’s Dustin Haas, who finished with an 89.

Elliot Engbers finished third overall with a 90. Engbers shot a 45 on both the front and back nine for a very consistent day.

Lane Marshall also finished in the 90s, shooting a 99 for the day. Max Serafin rounded out Park’s team score with a 102.

On the girls’ side, Hunterrose Goetz qualified for state with a third-place finish at divisionals.

Goetz shot a 102 to finish in third place. Fergus’ Kinsey Irvin was the division champion thanks to her score of 86. Irvin’s teammate Abby Gremaux was second at the tournament with a 92.

Park’s other girl golfer, Kennedy Hader, shot a 144 but did not qualify for state.

“Kennedy didn’t qualify, but she worked very hard throughout the season,” said Cahoon. “Her strong work ethic was evident this past weekend.” 

Now, Park’s season comes down to one final tournament — the Class A State Tournament, this weekend in Hamilton.

“We begin our state tournament in Hamilton with a practice round on Thursday,” explained Cahoon. “We will then play 18 holes on both Friday and Saturday against some of the toughest teams in the state. We are all in the right mindset and our divisional win gave the team the confidence they need as we move into the final week of golf.”

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