With strong wind and sideways rain challenging their early season strokes, Hood River Valley High School golf hosted Mt. Hood Conference teams Wednesday in a first-day-of-spring tournament at Indian Creek Golf Course.
HRV golf, in the 5A Columbia River Conference with Hermiston, Pendleton and The Dalles, finished third overall for the girls and the boys were unplaced against the 6A MHC teams.
Leading the girls team was Alisha Hay, with an eighth-place score of 99. Korey Cimock was close behind in ninth at 102, Gabriella Whitehead was 15th at 111 and Laura Waller was 17th at 112. Central Catholic’s Sophia Schiavone took top honors for the girls with a score of 84.
“Even though we only have four girls, we actually have the potential to be better than last year,” said girls coach Dave Waller. Last year the HRV girls finished second in the MHC to advance to the state tournament as a team. “If the girls continue to improve and play to their potential, we should be favored to win the district tournament.”
With only three golfers on the roster this season, the HRV boys didn’t have enough scores to field a full team. Dan Kuechmann shot a 91 to lead the squad; Gregory Johnston finished with 112 and Andrew Dunn shot a 125. The small group means the boys won’t be able to compete well against other teams this season, but there’s still reason to be optimisic. Coach Matt Kyriax says the main goal this season is to have fun together and improve as much as possible.
“Dan (Kuechmann) transferred from The Dalles this year and has some skills and experience; our other two guys are not as seasoned of golfers,” he said. “We’re going to learn as we go, do the best we can with what we have and try to build on numbers this summer. That’s the time to learn how to play.”
Kyriax said players interested in joining the HRVHS golf team can get highly discounted rates at Indian Creek through the summer (contact him at mattK@indiancreekgolf.com).