Scottsbluff claims 2nd boys' golf state team title in 4 years
     2013-05-23      By Terry Gaston   
Two boys' golf state team championships for the Scottsbluff Bearcats in four years are bookended by the school's only two individual boys' state medalists. And once again, Michael Hadden and Andrew Holloway led the way for the Bearcats' sensational four-year ride.
With the pair of four-time state qualifiers setting the pace, the Bearcats posted a four-player score of 314 Wednesday, giving Scottsbluff a 634, two-day total and a nine-stroke team victory at Jackrabbit Run Golf Course in Grand Island.
Hadden, whose first-day 75 on Tuesday led the field by two strokes, shot a 1-over-par 73 on Wednesday for a 4-over winning total of 148 to win medalist honors by three strokes.
"It seems like I'm always inconsistent and can't put it together even for 18 holes," said Hadden, who rose to first after tying for 12th as a junior, tied for 19th as a sophomore and tied for 11th his freshman year. "But I played steady for two rounds, hit some good shots and was able to come out on top."
Hadden finished his front nine holes Wednesday with a bogey for a halfway score of par 36 and started the back nine with three straight bogeys, a string that began with a bogey on No. 9.
"He had a really solid front nine, then on 10 through 12 he hit the bogey train," Scottsbluff coach Mike Klein said of Hadden. "He had a birdie on 13, bogeyed 14 then two birdies. He had one tough shot coming in (with a birdie on the par-5 No. 18), but basically he and Andrew carried the team today."
"Nerves were kind of getting to me," Hadden said of his turnaround after the four straight bogeys. "But Coach came out and told me to settle down on my swing, then I birdied three of the last six holes."
Hadden's medalist championship matched that of Holloway's from 2010 when the two were freshmen.
"It's been a fun ride," said Holloway, who won the state medalist title as a freshman and finished in a tie for seventh as a sophomore before taking third for the second straight year. "To end it with another state championship is pretty fun."
Holloway finished third again by shooting a 2-over 74 Wednesday for a total of 152. Senior Brian Carmody of Omaha Skutt Catholic split between Hadden and Holloway for second at 151.
Sophomore Koy Potthoff finished the tournament with an 83 for a 167 total that placed him in a tie for 34th place. Potthoff had a 178 as a freshman, which tied him for 46th last year.
Freshman Jonah Wright tied for 38th with a second-day round of 84 and 173 total.
Junior Curtis Welsh – who battled through a case of mononucleosis late in the season and was the Bearcats' fourth scorer Tuesday at 83 as part of their first-day 320 – settled for a tie for 46th at 173 following his second-day 90. Welsh was tied for 31st last year with a 172 count.
Scottsbluff dropped six strokes off its first-day score to finish Wednesday's round at 314. Blair, in second after a first-round total of 326, finished as runner-up at 643 after lowering its team count to 317. Beatrice stayed in third, finishing at 646, while McCook sliced 22 strokes off its first-day count to take fourth at 652.
During this four-year, two-state championship run, Scottsbluff won the 2010 team title with a 593 – a whopping 29 strokes ahead of Skutt – was second to McCook in 2011 by one stroke at 323 after severe weather prohibited second-round play, and finished fifth last spring with a 668, 19 behind Norris's winning 649.
"It's enjoyable being on a winning team and really fun," said Holloway, who will take his golfing talents to Creighton University in Omaha next year. "The five of us and Coach Klein have had a good time together."
For Klein, completing his second year as the Scottsbluff boys' coach, the team title was his eighth as a program's leader. He led Mitchell to Class C1 team titles in 2000 and '01, and the Bearcat girls to championships five times: 2003, 2006 and 2008-10.
"At one point during the day (Wednesday), we were probably behind," Klein said. "But the two seniors had their scores posted, it stretched the lead out and they played great."

Blanco 18th in Class C
Bayard junior Trae Blanco completed the Class C state tournament, at Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln, in 18th place after he carded a second-day round of 83 to finish the two days with a 163 total.
Blanco had been in a tie for 13th after Tuesday's first round after scoring 80, but he slipped to 18th after going 41 on the front nine and 42 on the back side Wednesday.
Plainview junior Sam Meuret held on to his first-day lead to win Class C medalist honors with a 1-under 143 total.
Gibbon junior Rylee Reinertson shot 72 both days to finish second at 144, leading the Buffaloes to the team title with a score of 651 – one stroke ahead of runner-up Hastings St. Cecilia. Laurel-Conrad was third at 657.

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