CANBY — The Newberg High School boys golf team finished in the top five on March 14 at the Canby Invitational at Willamette Valley Country Club.
It was the first tournament of the season for teams from 19 mostly Class 6A schools from more than 10 conferences from the Willamette Valley and central Oregon.
Newberg's Ray Greiler shot a 3-under-par 69 and finished in a second-place tie with Jesuit's Miles Eastman and just behind medal winner Kamal Singh of Sunset, who notched a five-under-par 67. Greiler won the league individual title in 2021 as a freshman.
The Tiger team of five players — Greiler, Palmer Thompson, Drew Harris, Liam Flannigan and Logan Chadwick — combined for a score of 317, good for fifth place behind perennial state golf powers Summit (287), Sunset (291), Jesuit (303) and Lincoln (308).
"The rest of the team continues to improve and hopefully will be nipping on Ray's heels," NHS coach Ron Quant said in an email. "It's a good group of kids and we're hoping we find ourselves in Corvallis for the state tournament in May."
Quant is in his fourth year as head coach after serving as an assistant coach for the boys and girls teams for three season. He mentors a squad of 15 golfers (four with varsity experience) on this year's team and said some of his players participated in other sports but continued to practice in the fall and winter before the season opened at the Canby Invitational. The team saw its season abbreviated in 2021 and scrubbed altogether in 2020 due to the pandemic.
"The pandemic absolutely set back individual and team development," Quant said in an email. "Our promising freshmen class (in 2020) lost an entire season at a crucial time for growth. So did the sophomores who are now seniors. Both classes are now just gaining valuable experience from tournaments, as is the rest of the team."
The team will compete in six conference tournaments as well as the State High School Preview tournament in Corvallis on April 26 at Trysting Tree, the site of the 6A state championships in May and the home course of Oregon State University.
Next up for the Tigers is a conference tournament on March 28 at Meriwether Golf Course in Hillsboro. Quant is optimistic about the Tigers' chances in conference play this season.
"If we play well we should be a contender to defend our conference title from last year," he said. "But we have a ways to go. We're still trying to get in the swing of things as the late school dismissal time before Daylight Savings Time limited, due to darkness, our practice time and course time the first couple of weeks. We're starting to catch-up now and he able to get in some longer practices and play nine-hole rounds.
"We have depth on this team that we haven't always had at Newberg. We have a core of six players competing for varsity spots. That competition makes our team stronger going into tournaments."
The Tigers faced North Medford on the road Friday, losing 10-0. Newberg then squared off against Grant at a tournament at Mountainside High School on Monday, then against the host later that day, then versus an opponent to be determined on Tuesday (results of the last three games were unavailable at press time).
The Tigers drubbed Beaverton on Thursday 19-2 in their home opener. Hank Vande Brake led Newberg in scoring. Next up for the Tigers is a home game versus Oregon Episcopal School at 7:30 p.m. March 30 on Loran Douglas Field.
The Tigers suffered a 15-4 loss to West Linn on March 16 to kick off their young season. Newberg's next match is an away game against Forest Grove High at 7 p.m. April 4.
Newberg suffered a 9-0 loss to Lincoln High School on March 16. The Tigers will next face Century High School in an away game set for 4 p.m. March 29 in Hillsboro.
Lincoln swept the single and doubles competitions against Newberg on March 15, walking away with an 8-0 win at home. The Tigers will face Century at 4 p.m. March 29 at home.
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