Fresh off its seventh straight regional championship, the Hays High boys golf team will be looking to make some more noise at state.
The Indians will be making their 11th consecutive trip to state as a team, gearing up for the Class 5A tournament at Mariah Hills Golf Course in Dodge City.
Hays captured the regional team title on its home course this past Monday, led by 1-2 finishes from seniors Tradgon McCrae and Josh Norris at Smoky Hill Country Club.
McCrae, who shot a 75 to win the regional, said Mariah Hills is one of his preferred courses.
“I love the course,” McCrae said. “Mariah Hills is one of my favorites. Last summer I shot 67 there. Hopefully I can do that again, but just to have a nice round would be good to cap it off in style.”
The tournament has been pushed back a day to Tuesday due to rain in the forecast. Start time is 11 a.m.
The Indians turned in another strong year, with McCrae, Norris and sophomore Jason Krannawitter earning first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors.
Hays High coach Mark Watts said playing Mariah Hills will be an adjustment from Smoky Hill.
“It’s kind of a grip-and-rip-it course,” Watts said. “You can really spray the ball at that golf course. They have bigger greens (than Smoky Hill) and their greens are a lot faster. We’re going to have make some adjustments there.”
The Indians were runners-up in Class 4A last year.
“Our goal is always to win a state championship, but just bring home a trophy (by finishing top three),” Watts said. “Jumping up to 5A is going to be a huge difference.
“Looking at the scores, we’ve beaten some teams and they’ve beaten us. The goal is to bring home a trophy, so I’m hoping that’s what we can do.”
MONARCHS HEAD TO EMPORIA: The Thomas More Prep-Marian golfers will look to ride the momentum from a dominant showing in the regional tournament as they prepare for Monday’s Class 3A state tourney at Emporia Municipal Golf Course.
TMP ran away with the regional at Lake Barton Golf Club in Great Bend, winning by a whopping 50 strokes.
“We hadn’t won regionals in a good stretch of four or five years — none of these kids on the current team had experienced that — and to do it in the fashion that we did, it really gives them a confidence boost heading into state,” TMP-Marian coach Bryan VonFeldt said.
Cameron Rozean continued his standout senior by winning the regional with a 77.
“He’s been kind of our leader for the last few years,” VonFeldt said. “It’s always sad to see guys leave the program, so you’re really happy for them when their senior year ends as well as it has been ending for Cameron this year.”
Ethan Brummer was second at the regional with an 83, while Tyler Robben tied for third with an 84 and Jack Johnson took sixth with an 87.
The tournament is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Monday.
“Obviously we’d love to leave there with some hardware," VonFeldt said. "We don’t necessarily know what number it’s going to take to win state, but we’ve kind of set ourselves a goal right there at the 325 to 330 range, which is capable. We think that would have a chance.”