Golf returns to Vail Mountain School |

Golf returns to Vail Mountain School

VAIL, Colorado ” And now for a trip into the way-back machine.

The last time the Vail Mountain School had a golf team was 1998, and the squad was actually a combined side of Gore Rangers and Battle Mountain players. The Husky Rangers or the Gore Huskies ” the latter sounds better ” boasted players like Matt Eversman and Schuyler Hoversten from VMS and Kevin Denton and Charlie Wolcott from Battle Mountain.

Your co-coaches were Ross Sappenfield and Dave Schindel.

The Gore Rangers ” ahem ” are back 10 years later, with Sappenfield at the helm and the squad has seven members, all from VMS.

“It’s awesome,” Sophomore Alex Bard said. “I’ve had to play sports for other schools, so getting a golf team is easier and more fun.”

“The kids who have played a lot of golf are excited to play for VMS. They’re excited to represent their school on the links,” Sappenfield said. “And we have new players who are excited to become more-consistent better players. They’re passionate about learning the game.”

And that is good because the Gore Rangers are a young squad. A.J. Yankee, the team captain, is the only upperclassman as a junior. Blake Barbour, Bard, Ian Reid and John McKenna are sophomores and Davy Honda and Marshall Thompson made the team as freshmen.

VMS got its first taste of high school competition Thursday at Battlement Mesa in Parachute Thursday. Bard carded an 88 in his first tournament. Given that he had previously played this summer in First Tee nine-hole affairs, high school golf was something new.

“Coming into the first few holes, I was little nervous and played poorly,” Bard said. “Once I played eight or nine holes I got it going. I was driving really well, but started playing well one I started putting.”

Yankee was the other VMS player in Battlement Mesa, and simply put, Thursday was one of those days that all golfers have and would like to forget. That having been said, Wednesday in practice, the junior fired a 35 for nine holes, so he clearly has a lot of promise.

VMS heads to Bookcliff Monday, but not without a little more practice.

“Because it’s our first team in 10 years, we have some kids who are realizing what a fun sport it is,” Bard said. “We’re all having a great time, helping each other play and we’re going out to play this weekend.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or

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