At the start of the golf season Thompson Falls’ boys, girls golf coach Michael Bates expressed his optimism about several of his younger players emerging as a supporting role for established star players like Dylan Beckman.
Bates’ early season prognostication has come to fruition this season as each meet has become a battle between his players for the four and five positions, according to Bates.
The Bluehawks’ golf team is starting to get tuned-up for the divisional tournament next Tuesday at the Eagle Bend Golf Club in Bigfork.
“We have some freshman boys and a couple of sophomores that are improving (during every match) and looking really good on the boy’s side,” Bates said.
Two players that are playing particularly well is Cade Pardee, Nate Oswald and Roman Sparks remains in contention, according to Bates.
“I am really happy with the golfers that are coming up and what is going on, (with this team right now),” Bates said.
The Bluehawks will have the St. Regis Invitational May 4, before they will enter to divisionals to try to qualify for the MHSA Class B-C tournament at Shelby May 15-17.
“We took second in the tournament at Bigfork in our regular season match (at Eagle Bend),” Bates said. “There will still be some teams from the east side that we haven’t seen yet and we are hoping teams come over (from the east) so we can see how they are doing.”
The Thompson Falls Lady Bluehawks don’t have enough participants to field a team, but they are hoping for a strong individual performance from one of the best golfers in the Class B-C ranks Else Brown.
“If there is a complete player I would say it’s Else,” Bates said. “On and off the course in school she is just good all-around. (Else) is one of the top-10 players in the state and probably one of the top-five in pretty much every tournament. She’s just a solid player and a hard worker and a real asset on the girl’s side ever since she was a freshman.”
Bates praised Maddison McKenzie and golfer Megan Baxter, for their efforts on the greens this season.
Bates noted the improvement of McKenzie.
“She has a lot more tournament experience and this year has been able to go to all of the tournaments she has wanted to go to,” Bates said said of McKenzie.
Baxter, is another Bluehawk that is juggling two sports in the spring between track and golf.
“She is really excited to get some playing time and experience under her belt,” Bates said. “She will be one of the critical pieces to our team as next year we will be on the rebuilding side again.”
Bates said he is “looking forward,” to his team preparing to head into the postseason.
“We are looking forward to the (divisional and state) tournaments and we will be getting ready the morning before divisional and do a practice round there,” Bates said. “Hopefully the kids can get a good night sleep, wake up, warm up and be ready to go and play and we will treat this like any other tournament.”