The fall golf season couldn’t come fast enough for Craig Marsh.
“I’ve been fired up and ready to go since we got done in the spring,” the Kelly Walsh golf coach said on Tuesday from Casper Country Club.
Marsh and the Trojans had every reason to be excited for the start of the fall season, given the way the spring concluded. Kelly Walsh claimed the Class 4A East Conference team title, ending ended Sheridan’s streak of 35 consecutive tournament victories.
“It gave us a lot of momentum,” Marsh said. “It gave the kids a lot of motivation to continue playing over the summer.”
It’s showed in the early portion of the fall season.
The Trojans boys were the 4A team runners-up at state last year, and have added two runner-up finishes at tournaments (Laramie, Rawlins) to start this season. Kelly Walsh, along with Laramie and Cheyenne East, should all contend for the team title at the Wyoming State High School Class 4A Golf Championships.
That just so happens to be in Casper at Three Crowns Golf Course, a little more than three weeks away. KW graduated only one senior from last year and will be led by senior Austin Hinchey (tied-third at state last year), along with returners Drew Petrie, Corban Hill and Michael Layton.
But Marsh and the Trojans aren’t just excited about the boys prospects. The girls also claimed the East Conference team title last spring, and return three golfers that earned all-conference honors last spring; Amanda Hinchey, Bailee Watt and Taylor Popilek. Hinchey opened the year with individual titles at the Laramie and Rawlins Invitational.
Gillette, KW and Natrona County figure to lead the girls team race. And that’s saying something for NC coach Tim Fauss, who graduated a lot of talent on the girls side. But Fauss has enough experience back to lead a young, talented group.
Fillies senior Cecilia Laughon, who finished sixth at state last year, is back and freshman Catlyn Skardahl tied for third at the Laramie Invite.
For the Mustangs, seniors Chandler Meeboer and Ryan Ellis lead the way, but after that it’s anybody’s spot, Fauss said.
“I’ve got kind of a battle for my spots three through eight,” Fauss said on Tuesday, as NC practiced at Casper Municipal Course. “I’ve got some older kids that are playing well, but I’ve got some younger kids that are biting at their heels.”
Marsh said hosting the state tournament has been good for the Casper golfers, who were able to get in practice rounds during the summer, in addition to the playing the summer circuit. And playing on a home course can only be an advantage.
“It’s kind of nice to be able to control some of the unknowns,” Marsh said. “It’s going to come down to who plays well at state.
“Anything can happen at Three Crowns. It’s going to be wild.”