Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
A strong surge on the back nine during the second day of the tournament carried the Fernley High School boys golf team to a second place finish last Wednesday at the 3A State Golf Tournament at Toiyable Golf Club in Washoe Valley.
Jacob Holmes used a similarly strong finish to claim second place as an individual.
The Vaqueros shot a team total of 708 over the two days of the tournament, finishing 10 strokes behind Truckee.
The Vaqueros shot a first day score of 360 and entered Day 2 eight shots back of first and two shots clear of third.
“I think all of our guys felt like they left a lot of shots out there on day one, particularly on the greens,” coach Cade Knutson said.
The Vaqueros got off to a slower start on Day 2, falling as far back as fourth through the first nine holes. “They just kept grinding and battling and with three holes to go, we were back in second,” Knutson said.
In the individual standings, Holmes was one shot back of second place going into Hole 17 on the second day. After making a 4-footer for par, he found himself with a one stroke lead for second place going into 18. He then drained a 12-footer for par to take solo possession of second place.
“I think it speaks to his confidence and the amount of work he’s put in all year,” Knutson said. “No one hits more balls or spends more time at the course than Jacob. Making pressure putts when you need to is a direct result of the work he’s put in up to this point. Really neat to see his hard work pay off.”
Holmes finished with an individual score of 161, shooting an 83 Tuesday and 78 Wednesday. Behind him Caden Stanger and Noah Davis each shot 180 to tie for 13th place and Luke Stanger was the fourth scorer at 187, placing 20th overall. Emery Gertson and Jacob Heimbruch each shot 206. Teams play with up to six players, and the four best scores are added together to determine the team score.
“Incredibly proud of our guys for a historic season (conference champs, state runner up),” Knutson said. “These guys are golf junkies who are addicted to the game. It’s been easy coaching kids who have such passion for the game. Upon returning from multiple away tournaments we had guys going straight to the driving range to work on whatever they didn’t do well earlier that day.”
Knutson said he is proud of the team’s two seniors, Matt Young and Kaden Stanger.
“Great kids who have been a part of our program since they were freshmen,” he said.
The Vaqueros will return three of their top four scorers next season, losing Kaden Stanger.