Summit High golf excited for potential under new head coach
BRECKENRIDGE — New head coach Ryne Scholl led his first practice of the Summit High School golf season Tuesday, Aug. 5, at Breckenridge Golf Club. It was the Tigers first official step back to prep sports since the novel coronavirus pandemic began.
Hours after the Colorado High School Activities Association announced fall sports schedules Tuesday with some major changes, Scholl got his first glimpse of a collection of returning and new golfers who could make Summit High a contender at numerous tournaments this season.
For Scholl, the chance to succeed longtime Summit golf coach Gary Sorenson is something he’s wanted to do for some time. The Breckenridge resident was a two-time All-American golfer at the University of Redlands in California and hopes to use his extensive experience as a championship high school and collegiate golfer to help Tigers golfers improve their games.
Scholl is a believer in tailoring differing coaching approaches to different golfers. He coaches by the motto that golf is a game that is “learned out on the course and no so much on the driving range.” So he is excited to get out and play with the student-athletes to demonstrate simple ways to improve their skills. If Tigers golfers work with an independent coach or already have a swing and style that works for them, Scholl is there to support that athlete while adding what he can.
“Arnold Palmer said, ‘Swing your own swing,'” Scholl said. “There are a few things all the good golfers do the same, so that’s the area I’ll focus with them on. I’m excited to help them learn the mental side, helping them learn to let things go, to move on. … Golf teaches you a lot of life lessons. We want to do everything fundamentally correct to be successful up there, but it’s the 6 inches between your ears that makes the difference.”
The strongest golfer returning for Scholl is senior Ryley Cibula, who shot a 76 at the state tournament last autumn. Cibula will be joined by some more top returners from last year’s team in juniors Ricky Ahlquist and Zach Carleton and sophomore Jackson True.
Cibula said playing through the pandemic has been tough because he wasn’t able to play in any tournaments and played locally two to three times a week. That said, he’s able to drive the ball 300 yards now and is eager to see how that might help his overall game.
“I’m super excited to be out there,” Cibula said. “I’m glad golf is able to play. A bunch of my buddies who would have played other sports, they are trying out for the team, too. With a new coach, it should be an exciting experience.”
Another challenge Scholl has encountered in his first days as coach is acquiring time at local courses for the team to practice. That’s because the team’s traditional home course, Keystone Ranch, is closed this summer while every other course in the county is booked solid.
The team might benefit from the addition of several talented athletes who are able to tryout for golf this fall because other sports, such as football and boys soccer, have been postponed to March. Cibula said soccer player Ranger Stone is a friend coming out for the team to have a sport to play this autumn.
The team could also benefit from the addition of Tyler Nakos, who has returned to Summit High School after studying at IMG Academy last year. Nakos, a senior, was a top-level golfer for the Tigers two years ago before he switched schools. Cibula said if Nakos is able to play this fall, he thinks Summit will contend to win some tournaments. Scholl also said sophomore Reese Greff might be a golfer to watch this season.
With so much up in the air amid the pandemic, Scholl said he hopes to have a team of about 12 golfers nailed down by next week after up to 20 students tried out. Scholl said six students will play at each varsity tournament this season, though he hopes to be able to play a junior varsity group of six at as many tournaments as possible, too.
Cibula said qualifying for the state tournament would be the ultimate team goal this autumn. The CHSAA golf season has a tentative plan to play the state championship Oct. 5-6. Scholl said the team might begin its season with a tournament Aug. 20 at Battlement Mesa.
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