Season ends on low note as team fails to reach state championships

It was a season of incredible highs and incredible lows for the Crook County High School boys golf team.

“It was kind of an up and down season — which we thought it might be going into it,” said Cowboy Head Coach Zach Lampert. “We had a lot of ups, and then we had our downs too. We had some tournaments that didn’t go as well as we wanted and then we had the debacle at the end which was definitely a low point for us.”by: CENTRAL OREGONIAN FILE PHOTO - Kody Kuk plays out of a bunker at Brasada Ranch Golf Course early in the year. Kuk was one of the Cowboys' top golfers this year and had a career-best round of 75 at Broken Top Golf Course later in the season.

The Cowboys played some outstanding golf during the season and were expected to contend for a trophy at the state championship. Then came the district tournament, the debacle that Lampert referred to.

Crook County struggled the first day of the tournament and were in third place going into the final round. The Cowboys played better on day two and slowly fought their way back into contention, finally shooting the low round of the day.

When a Baker golfer turned in an incorrect scorecard it looked like the Cowboys were going to finish second and earn a trip to state. However, after an entire day debating what to do, the league’s coaches voted to let the score stand and Baker earned a trip to state while Crook County stayed home.

Seaside, a team that Crook County had beaten by 10 strokes just two weeks earlier, went on to win the state title. League champion Ridgeview, who Crook County defeated several times during the course of the season, finished in third place.

Baker slipped to sixth place in the final standings and Crook County was left wondering what might have been.

Still, Lampert was mostly pleased with the season.

“I’m really proud of the kids and the way that they played,” Lampert said. “They came up a little short at district, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. They played hard those two days.”

As an example, Lampert noted that Kody Kuk had the lowest round that any CCHS golfer has posted in several years. Kuk fired a round of 75 on a difficult course at Broken Top.

“I mean, that was just an incredible round,” Lampert said.

Fellow seniors Josh Christian and Tom Harvey also posted occasional low rounds.

“The one thing that was good was they were a really fun group and they did get better,” he said. “And we got some good play out of our seniors. At different times of the year we had tournaments where some of them played really well. If you look at those seniors, they made a lot of improvement over the years.”

In addition to quality play from some of the seniors, the Cowboys also had two underclassmen who played outstanding golf. Sophomore Cabe Goehring stepped up from the year before and regularly shot rounds in the 80s.

However, even with some low rounds from the seniors and Goehring, it was freshman Mayson Tibbs who consistently led the Cowboys. Tibbs was the lone Cowboy to qualify for the state tournament, where he finished 25th overall with rounds of 83-84—167.

“His highest score of the year was an 87 at Tetherow and he had one other bad round at Eagle Crest,” Lampert said. Most of his rounds were 80 or less so that was very encouraging, and Cabe also stepped up from where he was a year ago. Those two have a lot of potential moving forward.”

With two such accomplished golfers returning you would expect that the future would be bright for the Crook County golf team.

However, that may not be the case. After two golfers quit midway through the season the team has just two other returning golfers. Daniel Ego did play in a couple of varsity tournaments so he does have some experience, but it takes a minimum of five players to make a varsity team.

“We are in a little bit of a quandary about that,” Lampert said. “We’ve got Mayson and Cabe and Daniel and we only had one other player that finished the season. Right now our numbers are low and we have to work on getting an influx of young kids.”

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