SHS golfers looking to build on past success | SummitDaily.com
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SHS golfers looking to build on past success

RICHARD CHITTICK
Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkSummit High senior Eric Nilsson will be one of a number of upperclassmen the Tigers will be counting on this year to help them improve on last year's breakthrough season.
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DENVER – If Corey Stanton’s performance on Thursday afternoon was any indication, the Summit High School boys golf team has a lot to look forward to this year. In the first varsity match of his career, a Class 4A Jeffco League match held at the Foothills Golf Course, the SHS junior finished fifth overall with a round of 80. “I could have easily been under 80, but I missed some putts that slipped out,” Stanton said after the match. Knowing he could have performed better, his eyes gleamed at the potential the team has this season. “Hopefully all of us can start shooting in the low 80s and high 70s, and we’d be doing pretty well,” he said.The team is coming off of what second-year head coach Chris Saunders claimed was “probably the best in Summit history.” The Tigers finished second in the league and third in the Metro-West region.In the process, Jason Chrobak became the first golfer in school history to win the regional tournament, a performance that earned him a berth in the 4A state championships.

The breakthrough season certainly inflated team expectations, for when their score on Thursday added up to a 336 – which put them in third place – neither Saunders nor the players walked away completely satisfied.”We could have played a little better,” Saunders said. “I think maybe the pressure of league got to us.” Chrobak carded an 84, as did Jimmy Keeling, while Eric Nilsson and Phil Camillo each shot 88. The team score is made up of the four best scores.Still, with Stanton opening his varsity career so strongly and Chrobak returning for his senior year, the team has solid potential, and Saunders knows it.”My gut instinct is we have a chance to do something special,” Saunders said. His players have similar sentiments.”I’ll be playing better and expecting better scores,” said Keeling, who, like Stanton, was playing in his first varsity tournament. “I’m looking forward to future tournaments.”

Plenty of potentialAs the season progresses, Saunders will have many options. The coach has a roster of 13 different players which can represent Summit, but only five can play in each of the six league matches which decide the league champion.What this means is that any one of his players could suddenly surge and be a force in league play. Saunders already has his eyes on a few of them, including Sean Star, brothers Brett and Sean Miller, and Sean Kleinschmidt. Thursday’s match winners, Ralston Valley, took notice of the Tigers.”I know they’re going to be our competition this year,” said the team’s head coach, Sherryl LaGrone. “(Summit’s scores) were certainly good scores.” Saunders came into the match well aware that the Mustangs, who won the league title last year, would be strong again.

“They’re the team to beat this year,” he said. And it showed, as the Front Range team combined for a 306, led by junior Brady Garr, who fired a 3-under 69, to win Thursday’s individual competition. “He was really consistent and never had a bad hole,” said Keeling, who played his round with Garr.Add to Summit’s returning firepower the fact that on Thursday the second-place Golden Demons finished only two strokes ahead of the Tigers (334) – despite what SHS felt was largely an off day – Summit’s boys have a lot to look forward to. Their season continues on Monday at the Woodmoor Pines Invite in Monument, and their next league match is on Aug. 23 at the West Woods Golf Club in Arvada. Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at rchittick@summitdaily.com.


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