Gering golfers drive toward return to state tourney
     2016-04-01      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen Members of the 2016 Gering boys’ golf team are, from left, front row: Nate Fahrenbrook, Trevor Satur, Connor Grant, Tommy Ganos, Brandyn Larsen, Jon Blanco, Josh Wilson, Grant Maser and Tyler Tjaden. Back row: Nick Watkins, Mason Marsh, John Stark, Justin Scott, Dylan Hickox, Hayden Riedel, Grady Sherrell, Jakob Wolfe and Logan Van Anne. Not pictured is Nate Van Anne. 
Last year, Gering boys’ golf team made its first appearance at the state tournament in more years than most players could recall. For 2016, they want a repeat.

Placing in the top three at several tournaments, then taking third at the district tournament last year gave Gering an automatic team berth at the state tournament. However, they finished at the bottom of the Class B card in 12th place.

“We didn’t play as well as we’d hoped,” said Coach Keaton Green. “But it was a big tournament and we haven’t been there since I’ve started coaching. It was good to get the experience.”

Green said he’s counting on the leadership of Mason Marsh, Grant Maser and Logan Van Anne, who all made the trip to state last year.

Maser medaled in second at Alliance and sixth in Gering during the 2015 season, and Marsh, medaled in 10th at Mitchell.

“Maser is a junior and has been a varsity player since he was a freshman, so he’s pretty seasoned,” Green said. “Marsh is a senior with lots of experience and I’m looking for him to really grow this year and play his best golf.”

Another player who’s expected to make the varsity squad in either the third or fourth position is sophomore Grady Sherrell. Green said he was strong and impressive.

Green has been coaching for five years, and this is the largest group he’s had at 19 golfers. The squad includes a number of younger players.

“A lot of times young golfers don’t bring much experience with them,” Green said. “It seems like we’ve been getting guys with more experience, guys who have played in the summer and in some of the junior tours around the Panhandle.”

Green said the younger players are a plus for him because they push each other and also the more experienced players as they fight for the varsity and JV spots.

One of Gering’s perennial big events is the Western Conference Invitational. Usually played in Chadron, Gering will play host this season.

“All of the tournaments are pretty good for us,” Green said. “At both Scottsbluff and Sidney, we get to see a lot of good district competition.”

He added the team doesn’t usually attend the McCook Invitational. They decided to go because the district tournament is in McCook this year, and the invite will give them more familiarity with the course.

“None of the guys on the team now have played the McCook course,” Green said. “It’s a challenging course, so we’ve talked about it and plan to play it at least once before districts.”

Gering Boys Golf schedule

April 5 Sidney Invitational 9 a.m.

April 12 Mitchell Invitational 9 a.m.

April 19 McCook Invitational 9 a.m.

April 23 Alliance Invitational 9 a.m.

April 25 Scottsbluff Invitational 9 a.m.

April 28 Chadron 9 a.m.

May 5 Western Conf. at Gering 9 a.m.

May 12 Ogallala Invitational 9 a.m.

May 16 District at McCook TBA

May 24-25 State Tournament TBA

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