Greenwave golf starts season as a contender |

Greenwave golf starts season as a contender

Mike Sciandra
The Greenwave varsity boys golf team poses for a photo after taking first place in the Hawthorne Tournament of 13 schools competing.

While several other Churchill County high school teams are still finding their footing the Greenwave varsity boys golfers are already making a name for themselves on the road.

Fallons golfers finished their third tournament beginning the season on Wednesday, placing second at a tournament in Dayton with 13 other teams gunning to place.

The Wave’s next tournament takes place on the road at Winnemucca Wednesday at 10 a.m. with more than nine other teams on the tournament ballot.

The ranking was welcomes after the Wave began the season on a high note with a non-conference first victory at the Hawthorne invitational and a second place ranking at the Fernley tournament a week prior to Dayton.

Fallon head coach Ryan Evans said he already likes the way things are shaping up for the team in light of three placings in a row.

“The kids did well today,” Evans said after the Dayton tournament. “We did quite well for playing such a hard course. I’m pleased with where we’re starting at and I’m also pleased with the work ethic of this team. We’ve got a good group of hardworking young men and that’s what it’s going to take to be successful, working really hard on the course, spending time developing their game. Hopefully we’ll just get better each week.”

Among the returning golfers on the green for Fallon this year are both of the Wave’s former state competitors, sophomore Kelvin Cann and junior Raymond Plasse.

Plasse, hitting the ground running, has two team lows for Fallon to begin this season, with an 83 at Fernley and an 89 at Dayton.

“Both of those gentleman were able to go to state last year and it was a good experience for them,” Evans said. “Raymond is a natural with a really good golf swing and Kelvin is a hard-worker all year round. There wasn’t a month out of the year which he didn’t spend golfing. We’ve got good experience as far as those two leading the team.”

Three year assistant coach Nathan Waite also commended Cann and Plasse as returning leaders but also said the team as a whole wants to keep improving on a good start with league standing.

“Every year we’ve had some consistent individuals who have gone to state, but it’s been a few years since we’ve been able to go to state as a team,” Waite said. “So that’s one of our goals.”

Other golfers returning to the Wave this year include juniors Mike Richards, Dalton Kaddy and Nick Smith as well as senior Braxton Hunter who took a year off for the 2014/15 season but is returned for his senior year.

“It’s another nice surprise having Braxton back,” Evans said. “Having a senior come out in his last year to golf with us, he’s done quite well, and helps lead even though he was away.”

Hunter is one of the only two seniors on the Wave team including Dillan Rasmussen. Sophomores in their first year of Wave golf include Chance Wood, Morgan McALexander, Dakota Welch and Blake Malkovich. Freshmen rounding out the varsity lineup include Jace Harmon and Michael Smiraglia.

In light of a relatively balance lineup of veterans and new faces, Wait said he appreciates and admires the overall maturity of the players, both returning and new.

“They’re focused,” he said, “and not just the ones who have qualified for our varsity competitions, but the junior varsity kids too have been very focused and I think their maturity and their diligence in working on their game is finally paying off. The new guys have a lot to learn but they’ve come out with a great attitude. They’re very coachable and we have great hopes for them since they’re willing to grow and willing to get better.”

Among the younger players Evans noted Wood as a breakout golfer and said he has been a delightful surprise for his first year while commending several other players.

“Richards who has been working hard and his game has come along from last year,” Evans said. “Kaady Smith, they’re pretty close to each other and I already see them battling hard every week to be on the team and its making them both better. Next meet is at Winnemucca golf course. More than nine teams there.

With the Lowry tournament around the corner, Evans said he is trying to focus on individual strengths he and Waite have seen in their players without blanketing his players too early in the season, though Waite said both he and Evans find Fallon’s short game particularly important from the get go.

“We evaluate each golfer and what needs to be worked on in their game,” he said. “Every day we work on putting and our short game, but then some golfers need help getting off the tee-box. We trust to make each individual aware of what they need the most work on so they can practice on it.”