The most consistently successful sport for Hays High over the past decade or so, the Indian golf teams continued to thrive in 2018.
On the boys side, Trae McCrae won six individual tournaments including the Western Athletic Conference tourney and placed fourth in the Class 4A tournament in Emporia.
The Hays High boys qualified for state as a team for the 10th straight season, taking advantage of the trip by earning second place in 4A.
McCrae was joined on the state runner-up team by Peyton Kieffer, Joshua Norris, Allen Zollinger, Keaton Schlaefli and Erik Kreutzer. Kieffer shot a 76 and tied for 17th while Joshua Norris tied for 25th with a 78.
"We just wanted to get a trophy, so second place was great," Hays High coach Mark Watts said. "We were team champions two years ago and kind of faltered on the back nine last year, so this was kind of redemption.
“I was just so happy for my seniors that they were able to get back and do this.”
The Indians' girls golf team also kept their strong tradition going in the fall, reaching state for the 13th consecutive year.
Comprised of Taleia McCrae, Molly Eikenberry, Sophia Garrison, Emily McGuire, Emily George and Brittani Park, the Hays High girls team relied on its depth and parity all season long. The Indians took second in their Class 5A regional at Smoky Hill Country Club and took sixth at state in Hesston, led by Taleia McCrae's 18th-place finish.
“We can rely on any of our girls at any time to step up and use their score,” Watts said. “Usually on teams you have maybe the four that are lowest and a couple that aren’t quite there yet. But I can’t say enough about our seniors and how it’s been such a good four years for them. To get back to state four years in a row, not many girls can say that.”
The successful 2018 seasons for the Indian golf teams is the No. 10-ranked story on The HDN's sports year in review.
Here's a quick look at other notable accomplishments and happenings for Hays High athletics in 2018.
Aiming to "wake up the sleeping giant," Tony Crough took the reins of the Hays High football program in 2018.
Crough, who had previous head coaching experience at Great Bend and Andover, guided the Indians to a 3-6 mark in his first season. There were plenty of positives, with Hays High being competitive in most of their games.
Alex Hutchins also made his debut as Hays High girls basketball coach, joining the Indians after gaining coaching experience in his hometown of Scott City as well as Minneapolis and Elizabeth, Colo.
Boys basketball runs the table in WAC
Relying heavily on 3-point shooting, the Indian boys basketball team turned in a solid season in 2017-18, going 8-0 in the WAC and finishing the year 14-7.
Girls Cross Country wins regional
The Hays High School girls cross country team sent its entire squad to the Class 5A state meet after claiming a Class 5A regional championship in Newton. The Indians were paced by a sixth-place showing for Landri Dotts in the regional.
Girls soccer makes quarterfinal run
The Hays High girls soccer team advanced to the Class 4-1A quarterfinals before falling to McPherson. The Indians finished the year 11-6-1.