Dayton tries to find a way to state

The team score for the Dayton High School golf team keeps improving, but the odds of the Dust Devils reaching the 3A state golf tournament keep getting worse.

On Thursday, Dayton shot an excellent team score of 422, yet placed only fifth among the seven teams participating at the Division II held at Mason Valley Country Club.

The fifth-place finish did not help the Dust Devils move up in the Division II standings; with two division tournaments remaining on the schedule, Dayton is currently in third place and needs to finish within the top two teams if it is going to advance to state. Bishop Manogue and Whittell are the two teams ahead of Dayton in the division standings.

"We need to beat Whittell and hope Manogue gets a flat," joked Dayton coach Shannon Wines.

Wines pointed out that although the Dust Devils are shooting team scores about 100 strokes better than their 1999 totals, the rest of the division has also improved. Bishop Manogue won the Yerington Tournament with the team score of 393; Whittell was only one shot back with its 394.

"This division has become so tough that the scores are comparable to 4A winning scores," Wines said. "It's unfortunate only two teams from this division will go on to state."

Dayton's leading scorers on the par-72 course were: Jim Kepler (80), Cody Oden (81), Justin Daw (87), Matt Watty (87) and Jory Eley (87). This was the first tournament for Kepler since a foot injury that sidelined him for three weeks.

Yerington, which finished third with its team score of 409, was led by Travis Lemos (76) and Barry Stone (76).

Although the Dayton and Yerington teams may face an uphill battle in qualifying for state, both teams are in position to send several individuals to the state tournament set for May 17-18 in Fernley.

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