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Coach Jason Payne aims for top three finish at state match, team looking for strong finish

PMG FILE PHOTO - Wilsonville High School logo The boys' golf team will join its female contemporaries at the state competition at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks on May 13-14, after the Spokesman goes to press.

Led by Bradon Garrow and Baker McQueen, the team was consistent throughout the regular season shooting within a window to make the cut for state.

"Our success came from consistent play by everyone," Wilsonville coach Jason Payne said. "We had some very close matches this year and we were able to pull through because of that consistency. For example, one team would end up taking a 72 and a 113 regularly, whereas Wilsonville would have everyone shooting somewhere between 83 and 97."

Garrow and McQueen finished the season in third and fifth in individual scoring, followed by teammates Ryan Berry and Jacob Hausserman at sixth and seventh. The team's strong showing was not out of character. It won four out of six tournaments to advance to state.

"With that said, it was nearly a three-way tie half way through the season so the guys felt pressure, but so did the other teams that had a chance," Payne said. "We performed well under those circumstances and we went into the finial tournament knowing that the NWOC title would go to Wilsonville unless something unprecedented happened like everyone failed to finish or was disqualified."

While the state meet will be incredibly competitive, especially with a strong Crescent Valley squad returning to the fray, the Wildcats have their work cut out for them. But Payne is confident in his team's ability to compete, and has realistic expectations.

"Wilsonville has a shot, but I would say it's slim," Payne said. "For me victory will come from placing in the top three. I believe that is a realistic, but yet not automatic goal for us. We've underperformed in years past and I would love to see the guys go out there and collectively play their best."

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