Huskies golf aims high in 2008
EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado ” Battle Mountain boys golf is blunt and bold about its ambitions this season.
“I want to win three-to-five tournaments this year,” junior Cameron Brown said. “I think I can win regionals and be top-10 or top-five at state.”
So much for the “I just want to take it one shot at a time, and the good Lord willing, things will work out all right,” philosophy, to paraphrase “Bull Durham.”
Battle Mountain does have the raw talent to make a run at the regional meet in Yampa come the end of September. With state-tournamnt returnee Dustin Martin as well as extremely talented players like Brown, Diego Gaspar and Geoff Funk, such talk is not outrageous.
Yet as the Huskies found in their season-opening tournament Thursday at Battlement Mesa, where they finished fifth out of 12 team with a score of 269 strokes, that consistency is going to be key for the season.
Granted the team played without Brown, likely its best golfer. Freshmen Edgar Gaspar and Brady McDonald shined with scores of 86 and 91, respectively, in their first high-school tournaments. But Martin carded a 92, a rather unsightly score for him, and Diego Gaspar came home with a 95.
“Today was a little rough,” Huskies coach Cassie Desmone said. “The younger guys were wonderful. That’s definitely going to push the older kids. I just hope Dustin and Diego were a little rusty. I should have a good team with Cameron, Diego and Dustin.”
That would be the master plan. Brown is 1-handicap, entering the season. He ripped apart Eagle-Vail with a 68 and shot a 70 from the tips at Sonnenalp earlier this summer.
“I’m looking for Cameron to lead this team to state,” Desmone said. “I think he can win a lot. He’ll be playing Monday and Tuesday (at Bookcliff and Tiara Rado), and he usually shoots really well at both of those courses.
“No pressure, Cameron,” Desmone added with a laugh.
Martin went to state last year. At the state tournament, the-then Vail Christian junior ” the Saints do not have a golf team ” got “the baseball swing” going. For those not familiar with this common golf affliction, the club travels on a more horizontal plane, causing the ball to be pushed to the left for a right-handed golfer.
That afflicted Martin again Thursday.
“He has the fever. He wants to make state again,” Desmone said “I’m sure his dad going to have him on the (driving) range, getting his swing back to normal. Sometimes, it takes a dad’s touch.”
Diego Gaspar simply crushes the ball. His issue Thursday was chipping, where he dropped shots around the green.
“It’s a focus issue for him,” Desmone said. “The first thing he said to me was that he couldn’t get a bad shot out of his head and he continued to struggle. It was something he couldn’t shake.”
The good news is that this was the first tournament of the year, and it’s always better to get this out of one’s system now. Throw in Brown and Funk, and the Huskies hope for better days.
The other pleasant bit of tidings was the play of the youngsters. Young Gaspar and McDonald didn’t show any jitters, playing nice boring golf, hitting fairways and greens.
“The were just getting those pars,” Desmone said. “They were placing the ball perfectly.”
Battle Mountain heads to Bookcliff in Grand Junction on Monday. In the meantime, the Huskies will be working out at Eagle-Vail with the course’s head pro, Ben Welsh, as well as first assistant, Chris Shafer.
Desmone likes what she sees at Eagle-Vail. She sees the 15 golfers on varsity, working together to improve their game, regardless of the tradition gulf between upper- and lowerclassmen.
“I like to help the other guys,” Brown said. “Everybody has their own swing, but if you see something that can help someone out, I’m happy to do it.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Battle Mountain golf
Seniors ” Dustin Martin, Geoff Funk and Diego Gaspar.
Juniors ” Cameron Brown and Colt Becker.
Sophomores ” Dillon McDonald, William Thompson, Cristhian Ravelo, Cooper Beals, Stephen Liccardi.
Freshmen ” Brady McDonald, Edgar Gaspar, Andrew Sady, Christian Nichols and Ryan Barton.