Aug 15, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorFive Lander Valley High School seniors will be the leaders this fall in the golf program for head coach Terry Berg.
Senior boys for the Tigers are Tyson Sollars, Dustin Clark and Alex Hogan. The LVHS girls out for the team are Jordan Hitshew and Lacey Morris.
Hitshew finished second at the Class 3-A state tournament in Rawlins. Hitshew had rounds of 93 and 95 for a 188. Cody's Sydney Gunn won the 3-A individual title at 93-90 for a 183.
The Tigers opened the season Monday with a practice at the Lander Golf Course.
"They are all swinging really good," Berg said. "That is a good number to have for seniors. They are all good kids. They were all up at the golf course during the summer a little bit, but not a lot."
Juniors Casey Winger and Levi Stuttle should battle for a spot on the varsity boys team. Winger finished 13th at the Class 3-A state tournament with scores of 84-87-171. Winger is the top placer back for the Tigers.
"The first week of practice is an overall team practice," Berg said. "I go over contact, watching the swings and looking at grips to make sure that they are in the right position."
After working on their swings and doing putting drills, the Tigers play nine hole holes every day.
"I have a couple of young kids that we will work with a lot," Berg said.
The players with lowest scores make the varsity. The varsity has five boys spots, and the next three to five players are on the junior varsity. Berg can move players between junior varsity to varsity all season.
The Powell Panthers are the defending Class 3-A boys title, and Berg doesn't see the team from Park County dropping off this year. Powell won the two-day title last year in a winning score of 644. Jackson was second at 656. Cody placed third in 676. LVHS and Torrington tied for fourth (693). The Tigers, Powell, Cody and Jackson all come from the West.
"Powell is going to have a real strong team again this year," Berg said.
The Cody girls are loaded in the varsity division.
"Powell is going to be strong on both sides this year," Berg said. "The Jackson boys will be as tough as nails this year."
The LVHS girls placed third in the 2011 state girls team standings. The Tigers had a 36-hole score of 637. Rawlins won the title at 607, and Cody placed second (630).
Rawlins plays in the Class 3-A East conference this year.
The Tigers begin the season Thursday and Friday at the Riverton Invitational.
The two-day tournament will be played at the Riverton Country Club. The golfers go off the first day in the afternoon. The second round will be played in the morning.
Riverton is expecting to host schools from Class 3-A and 4-A in the season opening tournament.
"We should play OK in the first tournament in Riverton," Berg said.
LVHS will compete Aug. 23-24 at the Rawlins Invitational.
The Tigers end the month playing in a tournament in Cody and Powell.
"One of the reasons why we are going to Rawlins is to see the teams from the east and check on the other side," Berg said.
Buffalo and Douglas are probably the teams to beat in the Class 3-A East conference.
The Rawlins girls are the favorite in its league.
"They all have some good kids, but I don't know how strong they are," Berg said.
The Class 3-A state tournament is planned for Sept. 21-22 in Worland. The Class 2-A state meet is in Lovell.
The 4-A state tournament will be played in Casper.
Berg said the Tigers don't have a home meet scheduled in the fall.
The Tigers always host a two-day invitational in the spring to end the year in May at the Lander Golf Course.
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