Deep stable of Summit golfers hope to compete for repeat state berth
Everett Gillett’s 86 is low Tigers score at season-opener in Commerce City
Experienced seniors will lead a deep stable of Summit High School varsity golfers this fall to what the Tigers hope is a second straight state tournament appearance.
In his second year as head coach, Ryne Scholl feels he has upward of five players who could consistently shoot 18-hole rounds in the 80s — in terms of total strokes — this fall. If the Tigers can get that kind of teamwide consistency, that is an important domino to having players here and there break out and shoot below 80 — the kind of score that is needed to anchor a team to a top finish or state tournament appearance.
“I think they all have a chance,” Scholl said Tuesday after the Tigers foursome of seniors Ranger Stone, Zach Carleton, Ricky Ahlquist and junior Everett Gillett finished in 19th place at the season-opening tournament at Buffalo Run Golf Course in Commerce City. Though it was a lackluster performance to start the year with a top-three player group score of 265, Scholl said the team has potential.
“And they have a great chance as a team,” Scholl said. “From last year, we lost our two best players in Ryley Cibula and Tyler Nakos. However, last year with those two guys shooting rounds in high 70s, we were following that up with the high 80s or low 90s. I think, across the board, we will see a more consistent average score, which should make the team competitive at regionals, and it should also give us a chance as individuals or as a team make it to states.”
Along with the foursome who played Buffalo Run on Tuesday, the Tigers’ seven-man varsity stable includes junior Rece Gref, sophomore Carter Gillett and sophomore Wyatt Willis. Scholl said he was able to whittle it down to that group after 25 kids came out for a total of 18 spots, including the 11 who play with first-year junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant coach Adam Rapps.
Scholl said Carleton, who shot a 91 Tuesday, will bring an even-keeled nature to the season.
“He doesn’t let a bad shot get to him,” Scholl said. “That’s his greatest skill set on the course outside of his swing tempo.”
Scholl said Carleton’s balanced swing tempo enables him to make repeatable contact with the ball. It’s a trait, the coach said, that should lead Carleton to shooting in the mid-80s through the season.
Aug. 10: Buffalo Run
Aug. 16: Central (Tiara Rado), 11 a.m.
Aug. 16: Aspen, TBD
Aug 19: Grand Junction (Battlement Mesa), 8:30 a.m.
Aug. 24: Gypsum Creek, 10 a.m.
Aug. 30: Grand Junction (Bookcliff), 8:30 a.m.
Aug. 31: Rifle (Rifle Creek Golf Course), TBD
Sept. 1: Gunnison (Dos Rios Golf Course), 9 a.m.
Sept. 7: Vail Golf Club (Vail Mountain School), 11 a.m.
Sept. 13: Moffat County (Yampa Valley), 10 a.m.
Sept. 14: Littleton, TBD
Sept. 14: Steamboat Springs (Haymaker Golf Course), 9 a.m.
Sept. 16: Summit (Keystone), 8 a.m.
Sept. 21: Regionals at Cobble Creek, TBD
Oct. 4-5: State tournament at Denver City Park, 9 a.m.
Now a senior, Ahlquist again will bring his 300-yard-plus tee box power to the Tigers.
“When Ricky plays well, he plays out of his mind,” Carleton said.
Scholl said when Ahlquist gets the timing of his swing right, he can hit it as far as most any high school peer, which is an attribute that has become more respected in recent years. Scholl said Ahlquist, who shot a 91 Tuesday, has the potential to shoot right around 80, maybe even upper 70s, this season.
“When Ricky gets to a par-5, we’re looking to make a par or birdie,” Scholl said. “It’s an opportunity to get one or two back from bogey golf.”
Rapps said Stone, who shot an 88 Tuesday, brings a great mental approach to the team, a notion Scholl concurred with. He’s the kind of senior who handles the sport of golf’s notorious ups and downs with perspective and resolve. Scholl said he’s playing as well as any Tiger thanks to his short game and touch around the greens.
“Any putt Ranger lines up, I think he’s expecting to make,” Scholl said. “That’s a big thing when some of the kids out here are trying not to 3-putt. Ranger goes out there to make it, not to not miss.”
It was Everett Gillett who led the Tigers on Tuesday with an 86 after putting in the time, dedication and effort to improve his game in recent summers.
“I’m pretty surprised how far Everett has come,” Stone said. “Even though he’s a lot shorter than me, and he doesn’t have as much length, he hits the ball almost as far as me with his driver.”
Carleton said Gref will also challenge to be one of the Tigers’ top-three scorers at tournaments. Scholl said Gref has looked like a new player this summer after his rookie season on varsity last fall.
“He has come back with a different golf game,” Scholl said.
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