Wheatland Varsity finds the spring season less than ideal
WHEATLAND – Springtime in the eastern Rockies has not been conducive to spring sports as local Platte County athletes have discovered. It was snowing heavily as late as last Friday and for golf, the course is wet, and the pads are soft.
“Thus far, the high school spring golf season has been less than desirable weather-wise,” coach Tony Nichols said. “Due to the weather, our golf team has been unable to make the first three scheduled tournaments. Hopefully, the golf gods will provide a little sunshine and milder temps to end the season, so our golfers get a chance to compete against some other schools. In fact, in order to get the competitive juices flowing and simulate a ‘tourney-like’ vibe we decided to use one of the nicer days to hold a team tournament. As a coaching staff it was the best, we had to offer to add life to the spring golf season. Sophomore Dylan Nelson took home the team title with personal round best score of 78. He was followed by Brecken Sandlian (91) and Maxx Meyer (92). The remaining schedule has our squad heading to Torrington, Casper, Buffalo (rescheduled), and finishing up in Wheatland.”
With that said, the less than desirable weather conditions have not deprived the golf team of getting their swings in. The WHS golf program has been showing off the addition of an indoor golf simulator for the players to practice at when the weather is uncooperative.
“In past years our team would show up at the golf course for practice on cold and rainy days only to get nothing out the practice,” Nichols said. “Al Wright, one of Wheatland Golf Club's most well-liked and respected members, saw our teams deal with the miserable spring conditions day in and day out and asked if there was some way he could help out. I said the only solution would be to get an indoor hitting bay with a high-quality hitting mat. Without hesitation, Al Wright and Susie Shomburg (former WHS teacher) simply said tell us how much you need to make it happen and we'll stroke you a check. They laid the foundation.”
Last year's inaugural Cowboy Derby golf tournament run by Eric and Allie Eddington and Tiffany Dean was also a pleasant surprise for the WHS golf team. They allowed the program (players, coaches, parents, administrators) to play a big role in making their tourney a success. In return, the money they helped raise allowed the team to purchase team golf bags and a golf simulation launch monitor for our hitting bay.
“The WHS Booster Club came through as well making a sizable contribution to allow us to purchase the software needed to run the simulator,” Nichols said. “The thousands of dollars in contributions from the individuals and entities mentioned are going to allow the WHS golf program to be competitive for years to come.”
Wheatland Middle School golf
For the middle school program, the participation numbers have been increasing each year and this year is no different.
“We have had close to 20 golfers out for the middle school program the past three years,” WMS coach Ryan Gonzalez said. “As the high school assistant coach, my goal for the middle school program is to vertically align with the high school program. It is great to see players that have come through middle school program making an immediate impact at the high school level. Our first tournament in Douglas was canceled due to the weather, but our golfers came to play for their home tournament.”
The Wheatland Middle School golf tournament (nine holes) was a banner day for Wheatland golf as the Bulldogs dominated the both the boys’ and girls’ divisions. On the boy’s side, Wheatland filled up the leaderboard by placing six boys in the top seven. Tate Nichols (36) Medalist, Ace Keil (43), Jacob Miller (45), Griff Nichols (52), Timmy Philo (53) and Fletcher McKee (54).
The girls team dominated as well by securing the top three spots. Haylee Nelson (56) took home the medalist honors and was followed by Jaylen Kaufman (59) and Allie Keil (64).
Moving forward, the team will be competing in Gillette, Douglas, Sundance and Guernsey to end the season.