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Scottsbluff state golf champs aim for repeat
April 01, 2016 Jerry Purvis   

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Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen Members of the Scottsbluff boys’ golf squad are, from the left, in the front row: Ty Corr, Sam McCaslin, Noah Brunner and Kelly McCoy. Back row: Craig Smith, Jared Pilkington, Vince Quijas, Coach Klein and Jonah Wright.

The Scottsbluff boys’ golf team, the 2015 state Class B
champions, are ready to make another run at the championship. On their way to the state championship, last year’s squad also won titles in the Western Conference, Greater Nebraska Athletic Conference and the district meet.

Coach Mike Klein, a member of the Nebraska Golf Hall of Fame, said the team goal is the same each year, to play well in every tournament.

But this year, they’re without several graduates who helped lead the team last year. Coy Potoff, who placed fourth in the state tournament, is now golfing at Creighton University. Bailey Hort, who finished 29th, and Sean Mercer-Smith at 43rd, are also gone.

Still, the team has some strong returning seniors, including Jared Pilkington, who tied for 18th in the state tournament, and Jonah Wright, who tied for ninth place.

“We really haven’t been able to practice much because of the weather, but from what I’ve seen so far, we have some talented players,” Klein said. “We’ll be a work in progress.”

Klein this year’s team will see a lot of practice on the range, as many golfers haven’t played a lot and need to work on hitting the ball.

“We also have to get tournament tough, getting used to playing in tournaments,” he said. “The Sidney Invite is always tough because there are some pretty good teams competing. Our home Invite will be really big this year with all the Wyoming schools coming.”

Of the nine players on the team, four are freshmen. Klein said there are two sophomores, Vince Diaz and Sam McCaslin, are showing promise.

“We’ll just have to go as we go and get better with every tournament,” Klein said. “If we can get the three, four and five spots more solid, we should be OK.”

Klein is now in his fifth year of coaching Scottsbluff boys’ golf teams, which have posted two state championships during his tenure. He also coaches the girls’ squad, which have won the Class B state championship the last two years in a row.

Scottsbluff Boys Golf schedule

April 5 Sidney Invitational 9 a.m.

April 8 Casper Natrona Invite, 10 a.m.

April 12 at Mitchell Invite 9 a.m.

April 19 at McCook Invite 9 a.m.

April 23 at Alliance Invite 9 a.m.

April 25 Home Invite 9 a.m.

April 29 Chadron Invitational 9 a.m.

May 5 at Gering Invitational 9 a.m.

May 6 GNAC Tournament at McCook 10 a.m.

May 12 Ogallala Invitational 9 a.m.
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