Golfers finish third at Winnemucca
Fallon’s varsity golfers have steadily showed signs of a team with a shot at the state title this year by placing third at the Winnemucca tournament, while veteran Raymond Plasse took the bronze medal in the individual bracket on Wednesday.
Assistant coach Nathan Waite, overseeing the team at Lowry in the absence of head coach Rich Evans, said the tournament could have gone better or it also could have gone worse, but he was proud of Plasse in particular.
“Ray’s been really consistent all year, and only two guys scored lower than him so he still placed,” Waite said of Plasse’s score of 80. “We’re proud of him since he always focuses on what he needs to do and doesn’t let things distract him and I think that paid off in a big way for him (Wednesday). For him to get a medal was a big honor and I think he absolutely deserved it.”
Coming in third out of eight league teams competing, Fallon had a better chance to size up the competition this tournament. Waite said Spring Creek, the first-place team, has started this year showing everybody they’re the team to beat.
“They (Spring Creek) continue to improve and they come with a full team through scores as well that helps them in the team average,” Waite said. “We have to respect them as potential state competitors and they should be proud of their performance. After them today Elko passed us just by eight strokes. Still it was enough to beat us and that’s something that we need to improve also, so we definitely need to be aware of that for the coming tournaments.”
Among the Wave’s roster behind Plasse, Kelvin Canne was second for the team (84) followed by Michael Richards and Braxton Hunter (91) with Nick Smith and Chance Wood tied as well (100).
“Kelvin is a good golfer and this was actually his best score so far, so that’s enormous for him,” Waite added. “He’s put in an enormous amount of time in the off season and so I think as we kind of shake off a few more cobwebs he’ll just keep getting better. He just needs to stay positive and be realistic and just be consistent. He’s not going to fight off 10 strokes a week just because he’s golfing well, but can cut a few at a time.”
Waite said he was also pleased with Richards’ consistency in the past three league competitions, bringing down his score from dual 93’s at Fernley and Dayton to 91 at Lowry.
On Richards’ tie with Hunter, Waite commended Hunter as an example of the kind of golfer for whom he hopes the team can see more in light of Hunter’s drastic improvement from previous tournaments.
“Not that we want people to be bad, but he has shown great, arguably the most improvement in his scores in the last few days, so that’s a positive thing,” Waite said. “Now the next step is everybody needs to decide as a team where they’re going to go. How many improvements they’re going to make in the next few weeks.”
While commending the Wave golfers, Waite said it was clear what helped Spring Creek get ahead is having more consistency in their low scoring golfers with no individual in particularly getting an outrageously high score to throw off the average.
“Still, our scores have been coming down every week, which is something we’re happy about,” he added. “We just have to realize that the competition is also improving week after week after week.”
Factors Waite said the team considers as they improve include club selection, making good decisions when something might b in the way of a clear shot, and continuing to improve Fallon’s short game as he has stressed after ever tournament.
“Putting in Winnemucca, it’s not an easy place,” he said. “The greens are quite steep. Today, we lost a stroke here and there because the ball would break quite a bit on the green. So that’s something as a team that we’ve already talked about and that’s something that we want to keep improving. We are improving, but that’s something we want to keep improving in a positive direction.”
Among the Wave’s own junior varsity reserves, Waite said he should mention the handful of golfers who are close to qualifying for varsity competition, extremely close and improving quickly while the last three to four spots on the team are becoming competitive to fill.
The competition should help in light of Fallon’s three week respite from any league competition until April. In that break, Waite said he is looking to keep his golfers from getting soft, hoping to arrange some non-league tournaments but focusing more on uninterrupted practice.
“We know the other teams in the league are going to keep getting better in those three weeks so it’s not like we’re going to kick back and do nothing,” he said. “We have to prove we want to go to state in the next three weeks by working harder than them and working smarter than them as well.”