Aug 21, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe Riverton High School Wolverines climbed all the way into the third spot last year at the Class 4-A state golf tournament.
Now, the Wolverines are looking to stay in title contention for the 2013 season.
RHS starts the season this Thursday and Friday, Aug. 22-23, hosting the Riverton Invitational.
Golfers will play 18 holes Thursday afternoon and 18 more Friday morning at the par-72 Riverton Country Club.
"We are in a unique situation this year," RHS coach Lars Flanagan said. "We are somewhat experienced, but we only have one senior."
The senior on the squad is Lars Becker. He was an all-conference player in 2012.
"Lars is a consistent player," Flanagan said. "He has worked hard during his whole high school career. I anticipate Lars to have a successful season."
RHS has seven juniors playing for Flanagan.
"In that end, we are fairly experienced," Flanagan said. "On the other hand, we are somewhat inexperienced because we have a nice group of young players that are looking to push the upperclassmen."
Flanagan said Jordan Yowell has emerged as one of the top juniors.
"All of the juniors have put time in the last two or three years," Flanagan said.
"Jordan has proved he can get some low scores. Any of the juniors can do the same thing."
Two former RHS golfers are playing Division I golf this year at different locations.
Zach Walker is on the Utah State men's golf team. P.J. Thomas is at University of Wyoming.
Aaron Nirider is a freshman this fall on the golf team at Eastern Wyoming.
"We have a nice golf atmosphere right now," Flanagan said. "Part of it is the team, a part of that is the Riverton Country Club, and part of that is individual kids striving to become good. I'm hoping that our finish last year will become more of the norm. "
"I had 15 kids on my team that understand the game of golf," Flanagan said. "They are not only playing for the high school,l because it's something they enjoy. It will be a lifelong sport for most of them."
RHS freshman Easton Paxton played on Team Wyoming at the Boys Junior American Cup at The Wailea Resort Gold Course in Maui, Hawaii.
The Wyoming boys finished in a tie for 14th.
The tournament took place from July 30-Aug. 1.
Paxton's team members were Nathan Green (Green River), Jordan Costello (Pinedale), Nathan Green (Green River) and Danny Davis (Gillette).
"Easton has played some national events," Flanagan said. "We had four other kids play some statewide events.
We had a number of other kids play in local events."
The four players who played on the statewide tour were Alec Richardson, Jayd Dion, Jayden Nyberg and Kendra Miller.
The Wolverines started practice on Monday.
"It has been a very good start because our kids are very knowledgeable," Flanagan said. "The kids know what their strengths and weaknesses are.
"I really have enjoyed the desire from our kids to get better and their relationships with each other."
Flanagan believes he has at least 10 golfers who have the potential to be in the varsity lineup.
"Our competition between each other is going to be very strong, which is going to help our whole team," he said. "I do expect the lineup to change a little bit. We have some kids that are consistent right now."
Miller is the only girl out for the team. She is a sophomore.
"It's never goo late to join girls golf," Flanagan said. 'Kendra will be fine.
She will work hard. She is still learning the game. There are a lot of things that I like about her."
Tournament officials for the Riverton Invitational are expecting to have seven to nine teams for the season opener.
"We are excited to see where we rank as a team and where individuals rank," Flanagan said.
"Our kids believe in themselves."
Lander, Evanston, Rock Springs, Green River, Casper Kelly Walsh and Casper Natrona will field teams in Riverton.
Sheridan and Pinedale are possibilities.
Kelly Walsh is the defending Class 4-A champion.
"Kelly Walsh returns everybody but one player," Flanagan said. "They are a very deep golf team. It will be exciting to see where we stand against them, and against our conference opponents."
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