Bearcats finish third at state golf: Bayard golfer sinks hole-in-one By Jerry Purvis
     2016-10-14      By Jerry Purvis    editor@geringcitizen.com
Courtesy photo Bayard’s Catherine Applegate finished her high school golfing career on a high note, sinking her first ever hole-in-one during the Class C state golf tournament in North Platte. 
The 2016 girls’ Class B high school golf season wrapped up in Columbus on Oct. 10 and 11 with the two-day state championship. For the 11th consecutive year, Scottsbluff finished in the top three.

The Bearcats were sitting in second after the first round of play, but settled for third place on Tuesday with a two-day team score of 730.

For the second straight year, Omaha Duchesne Academy ran away with the title, carding a two-day round of 668. McCook was in second at 724.

Weather conditions made both days difficult for all the teams. Monday was windy, and while Tuesday started off pleasant enough, it quickly turned cold and windy as well.

Scottsbluff was again led by junior Shelby Poynter, who carded rounds of 85 and 80 for a 165 total. Medaling in fifth place, she was just three strokes out of second place. Coach Bert Wright referred to her as “one of the best high school golfers in the state.”

The rest of the Bearcat team had Rachel Hancock in 18th with a two-day round of 182. D.J. Bokelman fired a 191 for 25th place overall. Jordyn Hoxworth finished 27th at 192 and Ashlynn Haun came in 53rd with a 216 total.

“Omaha Duchesne was the defending champion, so we knew it would be a tall order,” Coach Wright said. “We came up just a little short of second but the girls played a solid tournament and we’re pleased with the season.”

Wright said he was especially happy for Jordyn Hoxworth, who finished her high school golf career 36 strokes better than she did in last year’s state tournament. Rachel Hancock, Scottsbluff’s other senior, also shot two consistent rounds of golf.

“The girls had to fight through some adversity over the season,” Wright said. “I was impressed with their resiliency and attention to detail for playing good golf. We’ve won several tournaments and played consistently well all season.”

D.J. Bokelman, Ashlyn Haun and Shelby Poynter will be returning next year. There will also be some newcomers to help round out the team.

Gering also competed as a team at the state tournament, after placing in the top three at their district tourney. The Bulldogs finished with a two-day total of 815 for ninth place.

Gering’s Jaylen Beam and Baily Kreider tied for 35th place among individual scorers with two-day rounds of 198. Ali Boswell was in 47th at 213. Megan Maser was a stroke back at 214 for 51st place. Afton Mitchell carded a 218 to finish in 57th.

Gering Head Coach Jessica Boswell said the team was nervous at first, but calmed down to play well. “Most of the girls are pleased with at least one of their rounds despite windy conditions,” she said. “Jaylen played great on the second day and shot a 92, which is her lowest tournament score this season.”

A number of younger girls have expressed interest in competing at the varsity level next year. Boswell said she hopes they put in lots of practice in the off-season so the team gets the chance to finish in the top five next year.

“This group of girls have a great work ethic and I’m excited for the future of the program,” Boswell said. “Nothing is more exciting for a coach than seeing so much potential in so many girls.”

Also on Oct. 10 and 11, the Class C state golf tournament was going on at the Lake Maloney Golf Course in North Platte. Junior Alpine Hickstein, who’s been a standout for Chadron this season, fired a two-day round of 154 to place second. Also medaling in the top 10 was Mitchell sophomore Kenzey Kanno, who finished in 10th with a total of 175.

Bayard senior Catherine Applegate made her own golf history during the state tournament at North Platte. She started playing golf the summer before her sophomore year and ended her high school golf career in the best way possible.

Applegate’s second-day round of 92 was her personal best as she finished 24th among the field with a 190 total.

After posting disappointing scores on the previous three holes, her next shot was just perfect.

The 17th hole at the Maloney course was par 3 and 127 yards. Applegate didn’t want to overshoot the hole, so she used a 7 iron. The ball landed on the edge of the rough, rolled onto the green and kept rolling for the hole-in-one.

“I’d just double bogeyed the last three holes, so I wanted to hit the green on my first try to improve my score,” Applegate said. “I’d done it the day before so I knew I could.”

She said it was challenging because the hole was so short and would be easy to overshoot. Plus, there were sand traps on both sides of the green.

“When the ball disappeared, I looked at the spectators and just dropped my mouth wondering if it actually went in,” she said. “I’ve never been close to a hole-in-one in all the time I’ve played.”

Bayard finished in a tie for ninth place as a team with a two-day round of 802.

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