It’s all about having fun


News staff writer

April 26, 2006

Golf can be a relaxing, calming and peaceful game, played in some of the most beautifully-kept areas of a town. It can also be a challenging and disconcerting game, frustrating at times to even the most seasoned keep-your-cool players. The key is staying relaxed and focused on every stroke, regardless of the hole, the score, the stroke count or how many players are waiting to tee-up behind you.

And the key to enjoying the game is keeping a calm and collected head, an eye on the scenery and the thought in mind that no matter what the end result, golf at most levels is more about enjoying a low-key sport in the great outdoors than it is about being hard-core intense and competitive on the course.

The Hood River Valley High school boys’ golf team is keeping the right things in mind this spring as they progress through a building season that has, thus far, been one of relatively little success in terms of winning and losing.

“This is a rebuilding year for us and we’re working on getting our younger players improvement so we can be competitive in future years,” said Coach Casey McCoy. “Our main goal is for them to have fun. I think we pretty much know realistically that we’re not going to compete with most of the more talented teams out there this year. Our main goal is to just go out there, have fun and show signs of improvement. And I think we’re doing that.”

Most recently, the boys played in the Bend Invitational at Bend Country Club (on April 14), and in an Intermountain Conference Tournament hosted by Hood River’s Indian Creek Golf Course on Friday.

The weather in Bend was far from ideal, with parts of the central Oregon city receiving snow that same morning. As a team, Hood River finished with a score of 364, which was good enough for 15th place out of the 18 teams in attendance and ninth place out of the nine IMC teams. Max Gorman led the Eagles with a score of seven over par, 79. Keith Powrie shot a 92, followed by Nick Bailey with 94. Dane Jacobson shot 99 and Michal Turner rounded out the top-five with 108.

On Friday afternoon the Eagles hosted all eight IMC teams at Indian Creek for an afternoon of windy but warm golf. With winds blowing across the valley from the west, golfers had to adjust for the classic Gorge conditions. Hood River’s 374 finish put the team in last place after 18 holes on their home course with Gorman again finishing up front for the Eagles with an 81. Following was Nick Bailey with 88, Michael Turner with 99 and K.C. Christensen with 104.

“We’re just not as deep talent wise as many of the other teams,” said McCoy. “We haven’t had anyone really stepping it up this year and unless we make some big steps up, we’re probably going to stay at this level the rest of the season.”

The boys’ junior varsity team has been hitting the course as well, with matches last week at Umatilla and China Creek golf courses.

At Umatilla, Ryan Dethman led the team with a 108, followed by freshman players Jon Newman with 111, Dane Donaghy with 120, Matt Yasui with 132 and Mitch Dethman with 145.

Aaron Mallon led the junior varsity team at China Creek, shooting a 102 despite playing with an unfortunate finger injury. Jack Kennedy was second to Mallon with a 105, followed by John Newman with 111, Anthony Lee with 114, and Charles Dannen with 115. Representing the girls’ team at China Creek were Dani Peters and Emma Fish, who shot 114 and 134 respectively.

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