Summit golf places 11th at regional golf tournament; Melby qualifies for 4A state tournament
Transitioning to a new coach can be a huge challenge for any sports team, but the Summit High School boys golf team has adjusted to the change and hardly missed a stroke this fall.
Dobrota entered the new role with no prior high school coaching experience, but was able to rely heavily on his experience of playing golf and his background in golf instruction.
Like most coaches trying to get a feel for a new team, Dobrota said it took a couple weeks to truly get to know all the boys on the team and overcome the learning curve of coaching at the high school level.
“It was a little bit of a learning curve, especially to get things started,” Dobrota said. “I kind of looked at things in the way of, ‘What did I do when I was in high school?’, but then to look back and realize that was over 20 years ago. A lot has changed.”
Dobrota said he was also challenged in the first few weeks of the season by the structure of the Colorado High School Activities Association’s golf season where players are forced to travel multiple times throughout the week for golf tournaments.
Eventually, Dobrota and the team found their groove and the team went on to have not only a smooth and exciting season, but one that also resulted in success while out on the links.
“The team played well throughout the season,” Dobrota said. “They won a tournament out in Salida this year, both the tournament and the individual overall was won by a Summit kid. They played well and finished the season at home last week at Keystone. They finished in the top seven teams basically the whole season I think. They slowly built their way up.”
At the Butch Braswell Invitational in Salida, sophomore Hogan Tobias led the Tigers squad, shooting a score of 74 to be crowned the tournament champion. Tobias was followed by junior Jace Melby in second place with a score of 75 and senior Wyatt Willis tied for eighth with a score of 83.
Junior Evan Wischmeyer and senior Max Nakos rounded out the tournament’s top 25. Wischmeyer shot an 87 to tie for 14th place and Nakos scored 93 to tie for 24th.
Summit High School combined for 232 points to defeat Monte Vista High School by 3 points and win the tournament.
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The first-place finish at the Butch Braswell Invitational gave the team the momentum it needed to tackle the rest of its regular season schedule before traveling to the Bookcliff Country Club in Grand Junction for the 4A Region 4 golf tournament.
Summit notched three consecutive top-five finishes in its last three regular season meets. The team placed third overall at the Bulldog Invitational on Sept. 11, fifth at the Sailor Invitational on Sept. 12 and second at the team’s home meet at Keystone Ranch on Sept. 14.
With a fair amount of confidence and momentum on the team’s side, the Tigers were able to string together several impressive performances at the 4A Region 4 golf tournament in Grand Junction on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
Leading the way for the Tigers was Melby, who had a solid round of golf. He scored an 80 to tie for 13th place overall. Willis followed Melby in 38th place with a score of 88, Tobias scored 91 to tie for 42nd and Wischmeyer scored 93 to tied for 46th.
With 259 points, Summit placed 11th out of 18 teams, failing to advance to the Oct. 1-3 Class 4A state golf tournament in Montrose. Still, Melby was able to secure his spot in the championship event by being one of the 13 individuals to advance from Region 4 of the 4A classification.
Melby is the first Summit golfer to advance to the tournament since Ricky Ahlquist and Ranger Stone advanced to the tournament in 2021.
“Jace has got game in there,” Dobrota said. “I think if we can keep him clear between the ears and get him playing his own golf game, that he has it in him to finish near the top of the pack for sure. If he can put two solid rounds together, who knows, he could have another medal around his neck.
Although Summit failed to advance to the state tournament as an entire team, Dobrota believes that the team will continue to grow and build upon this season in the years to come.
“The way I look at it is that we have three graduating seniors and everyone else is a lot of sophomores and some juniors,” Dobrota said. “We have some depth on the team and if we can set it up and start playing and practicing earlier, I think we could create some competitiveness in the team and really drive them. Have them play better and maybe go deeper through the region and think in the next year or two that a team could go to state rather than just an individual.
Melby will travel to The Bridges Golf and Country Club in Montrose where he will shoot a practice round on Sunday, Oct. 1, and begin play at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 2.
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