HHS golf eighth in 5A
By KLINT SPILLER
The Hays High School boys’ golf team didn’t end its season the way it wanted to.
Outside of junior Kaden Beilman and freshman Payton Ruder, everyone shot over par on the last two holes, causing the Indians to fall out of the middle of the pack and into the bottom third of the standings.
Two golfers even shot four-over-par on hole 18.
“As a coach, you want to finish better than that,” said Hays High coach Mark Watts.
Hays High tied for eighth with a team score of 331 on Monday at Brookridge Golf Course in Overland Park, and Beilman finished as the Indians’ lone all-state golfer tying for eighth place with a 77. He finished 10th following a playoff.
“I’m disappointed with some of the ways our guys finished their rounds,” Watts said. “I think we could have ended up fifth if we would have played our last two holes better than we did.”
However, Beilman didn’t struggle on the back nine.
In fact, Beilman was dialed in, shooting par on holes 16 and 17, and then he birdied hole 18, his lone birdie of the day, to earn all-state honors.
“It was nice to see one of our guys get in the top 10,” Watts said. “Kaden played well. He practiced well. I’m real pleased with Kaden.”
Hays High tied with Shawnee-Mill Valley, but the Indians’ fifth golfer, senior Ryan Unruh, shot an 87, while Mill Valley’s fifth man shot a 90.
Beilman’s 77 led the squad by a ways, but the rest of the Indians were packed tightly together in the 80s.
Ruder shot an 84, and junior Lane Clark and sophomore Nathan Romme carded 85s.
Sophomore Cash Hobson also competed, shooting an 88, but didn’t figure into the scoring.
“We were all around each other like we always are, but anytime you want to compete for a state trophy or a state championship, you’ve got to have guys shoot low,” Watts said.
Watts hoped for a higher finish, but he said he wasn’t disappointed with the team’s season.
The Indians won their regional to earn their fifth consecutive trip to state and finished second in the Western Athletic Conference behind Class 6A powerhouse Dodge City.
Watts said his squad should make some noise next season.
“We’ve got our whole team coming back except for Ryan,” he said. “... We have a lot of experience coming back.”