5A, 4A, 3A loaded with ta­lented play­ers, teams

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Kyle New­man

The boys golf sea­son got un­der­way Thurs­day, with three classes of golfers break­ing in the 2017-18 sports year on the CHSAA cal­en­dar. The teams and play­ers to watch this fall:

Class 5A

Ea­gle­crest se­nior Davis Bryant is the ob­vi­ous fron­trun­ner for an in­di­vid­ual state ti­tle, hav­ing been the run­ner-up last sea­son in ad­di­tion to win­ning the Colorado Ju­nior PGA Cham­pi­onship this sum­mer.

In the team race, de­fend­ing state cham­pion Regis Je­suit again has the ad­van­tage. The Raiders re­turn se­niors Cal Mccoy and Drew An­der­son, both of whom tied for sixth place at state, and Regis Je­suit shot a pro­gram­record 12-un­der to win the sea­son-open­ing Con­ti­nen­tal League meet by a whop­ping 18 strokes at Deer Creek Coun­try Club last week.

“Those two guys are go­ing to lead us,” Regis Je­suit coach Craig Rogers said. “But through­out the sea­son and dur­ing our Con­ti­nen­tal League sched­ule ... the im­por­tance and skill of our other guys will emerge too.”

Rogers said Lake­wood, Fos­sil Ridge and Cherry Creek will be good again this year, as will Front Range League archri­vals Boul­der and Fairview.

State tour­na­ment: Oct. 2-3, Com­mon­ground Golf Course in Aurora.

Class 4A

De­fend­ing in­di­vid­ual state cham­pion Luke Tru­jillo is back for Dis­cov­ery Canyon, and he joins fel­low se­nior Caleb Blackburn (10th at state) as well as ta­lented emerg­ing play­ers in mak­ing the Thun­der the fa­vorite to re­peat as a team.

“I’ve got pretty strong classes in my ju­niors, sopho­mores and fresh­men that just came in too, so the fu­ture here is re­ally bright,” said Dis­cov­ery Canyon coach Mark Liggett.

And there are other play­ers who will chal­lenge Tru­jillo, who de­feated Sil­ver Creek grad­u­ate Jack­son Solem in a play­off for the state ti­tle last year, for an­other cham­pi­onship. Thomp­son Val­ley se­nior Dar­ren Ed­wards (tied for fourth at state), Roo­sevelt se­nior Tyler Sev­erin (sixth), Ea­gle Val­ley se­nior Bar­rett Jones (tied for sev­enth) and Mon­trose sopho­more Micah Stange­bye (tied for sev­enth) are con­tenders too.

Team-wise, Liggett said Cheyenne Moun­tain, Valor Chris­tian, Sil­ver Creek and Ever­green will be con­tenders again come Oc­to­ber.

“That’s the thing about this sport — just like our pro­gram has a num­ber of ta­lented un­der­class­men that peo­ple don’t nec­es­sar­ily know about yet, other teams could have one or two of those guys too,” Liggett said.

State tour­na­ment: Oct.

2-3, Rac­coon Creek Golf Course in Lit­tle­ton.

Class 3A

In the state’s small­est golf classification, a peren­nial pow­er­house pro­gram is in the spot­light early in the sea­son. De­fend­ing cham­pion Kent Den­ver, whose nine ti­tles are more than any other pro­gram in the state, re­turns its top three golfers.

Se­nior Oliver Jack was the in­di­vid­ual state cham­pion last sea­son. Ju­nior Jack­son Klutznick (fourth) and sopho­more Ben Zim­mer­man (10th) also head­line a Sun Dev­ils team that is deeper than just its vet­er­ans.

“It was re­ally close last year for who made our var­sity, so I’m re­turn­ing five of my best six golfers and I’ve got a re­ally good fresh­man com­ing in as well,” said Kent Den­ver coach Bob Austin.

The Sun Dev­ils will be tested against na­tion­ally elite com­pe­ti­tion at the An­tigua Na­tional High School Golf In­vi­ta­tional, Sept. 1-2 in Chan­dler, Ariz. Class 5A power Regis Je­suit also will be play­ing there.

“We’ll need to be bet­ter through­out the fall,” Austin said, “be­cause there’s a cou­ple other teams in the state that are right where we are, no ques­tion about it.”

Peak to Peak — state run­ner-up by only three strokes last year — brings back se­niors Ethan Tartaglia (third), Nis­hant Datta and Ian Thorpe, both of whom tied for sixth.

State tour­na­ment: Oct.

2-3, In­dian Peaks Golf Course in Lafayette.

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