Tiger tee time: Summit High golf shows some early season success through 3 meets
Through three meets thus far this fall, the Summit High School golf team has shown its mettle against its competition. At their Aug. 15 Eagle Valley meet, Summit finished in sixth place of 11 teams. Two days later in Aspen, the Tigers finished in third place of nine teams. And at Monday’s Battlement Mesa meet, the Tigers finished in fifth place of 10 teams.
Led by seniors Logan Pappas and Collin Moore, and sophomores Tyler Nakos and Ryley Cibola, the Tigers anticipate continuing the challenge to finish in the top half of teams at each of the four competitions they’ll have between now and the Sept. 17 regional competition.
The Tigers aren’t yet shooting as low as they did last year, but led by Nakos’ 18-hole average of 84 through the first three tournaments, Summit has several golfers who have shown they can break 80 in practice rounds.
So far this season, a Tiger hasn’t broken 80 in competition, though the Tigers received three 85-or-lower scores at the Aspen competition to secure that third-place team finish.
In Aspen, Pappas shot an 82 and Nakos an 83 — the two lowest 18-hole rounds for any Summit golfer this season. Moore scored an 85, also his best mark of the season.
Aspen was also Summit’s best team-wide showing of the season in terms of total strokes, as the Tigers combined their top three golfers for a mark of 250. At Eagle Valley’s Gypsum Creek on Aug. 15, the team totaled a three-golfer 260 between Nakos’ 85, Pappas’ 86 and Cibola’s 89. At Battlement Mesa on Monday, it was Cibola leading the way with an 84 to combine with Nakos’ 84 and Pappas’ 89.
To improve those scores to break 85 consistently, and 80 on occasion, Summit High coach Gary Sorenson is working to improve his 10-person team’s consistency, namely within 100 yards of the hole. To Sorenson, a consistent golfer averages 2.4 strokes or fewer within 100 yards. It’s an average his team is still striving to achieve.
“We are capable of shooting some good numbers for short periods of time,” Sorenson said at the Keystone Ranch Golf Course on Thursday, “but then the reality is we come back to the average.”
Sorenson said it’s on him as coach to help his team to become more self-assured as individual golfers. He said eliminating silly shots will help his team to see more birdies than double or triple bogeys out on the course. To Sorsenson, if you can’t succeed with a certain shot seven out of 10 times in practice, then you shouldn’t attempt it in competition.
Within his collection of 10 golfers who made the varsity cut from an initial group of 17, Sorenson has veteran players, some brand new to the sport, one student from South Park High School and one girl.
Collin Moore’s already contributing to the team in his first year with Summit, commuting over from South Park. Junior Victoria Nickel has shown consistent improvement from last year and a desire to work hard each day to get better.
“That is a person who will work for hours,” Sorenson said. “If we get done before dark, she’s out here ‘til dark.”
Sorenson also highlighted Pappas and Nakos for each practicing through the off-season to improve their stroke averages substantially since the 2017 season. Overall, the coach expects the best is yet to come for this group of golfers. Their sole home meet of the season is also on the horizon, as the Tigers are set to host the Keystone Ranch Golf Invitational on Sept. 13 at 10 a.m.
“They really are showing evidence of solid improvement,” Sorenson said.
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