Huskies, Devils golf conquer and survive
RIFLE — It’s a common experience for any Western Slope golfer.
“You go to Rifle thinking you’re going to dominate,” Eagle Valley coach Tom Buzbee said. “But Rifle’s going to slap you.”
Yes, there’s that mountainous back nine and, when it comes to CHSAA golf, it’s even more mountainous when you walk it.
Nonetheless, Battle Mountain finished third there on Tuesday, Aug. 28, with a score of 249 strokes, led by Jack Oberley and Blu Barnett carding 82s, and Griffin Gould at 85.
The Huskies, coached by alumnus Kevin Denton, are certainly finding their groove, constantly in the low 80s.
Support Local Journalism
For example, the Huskies took fourth on Monday, Aug. 27, at Bookcliff in Grand Junction with Cal Hill and Oberly at 80 and Ryan Moore at 83.
“These kids are all consistently shooting in the low 80s,” Denton said. “The next thing is getting them to shave a few strokes.”
Battle Mountain golfers have breached 80. During last week’s Montrose swing, Hill carded a 76 at Black Canyon, while Oberly came home in 78 at Cobble Creek.
The reason for the emphasis on 80 is that low-80s can be bubble country come regionals, which are on Sept. 18. Shoot in the 70s, and you’re generally a lock for state. Both the Huskies and Devils are trying to figure out their regional foursomes.
As often happens in high school golf, both teams have too many golfers for four spots. Eagle Valley’s top five played on Monday at Bookcliff — Ty Murray (86), Garrett Flaagan (90), Van Bullock (93), Lee Bullock (96) and Jake Crawford (97) — but five does not fit into four, as any math teacher will tell you.
Battle Mountain faces the same conundrum. Oberly, Hill and Carson Dietz seem in pretty good shape for regionals, but coach Denton has five others for one spot.
And that makes the final tournaments of the regular season — Sept. 6 at Cedaedge and Sept. 13 at Keystone — all the more important for both squads.
Devils softball loses to Bears
A big first inning for Rifle — a 10-run eruption — sank Eagle Valley softball on Monday, Aug. 27, in a 15-4 loss to the Bears. Carissa Cassidy had an RBI triple for Eagle Valley, while Harley Ralston, Shayden Jones and Tori Stone all knocked in runs.
“The first-inning holes are killing us,” Devils manager Jason Buvala said. “Eliminating that early deficit is going to be key to finding success the rest of the way. They girls have shown they can play with good teams, if they don’t dig too big of a hole.”
Devils softball is at the Sheridan Tournament this weekend.