Equipped with a 16-player roster, including a number of second- or third-year athletes, the Douglas High School boys golf team appears primed to make a run at this year’s state tournament.
The Tigers opened the year by winning its annual Icebreaker tournament last week, prevailing over a field that included Carson, Whittell, South Tahoe, Hawthorne, Yerington, North Tahoe and Incline with a team score of 412.
Junior Shane Pyle won the individual medal with a 12-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a playoff.
“It finished in pretty dramatic fashion,” Douglas coach Brent Eddy said. “It was great to see Shane pull off first place in a playoff that way. Those type of wins create great stories to tell for years to come.”
Pyle’s final score was a 75 while freshman Collin Brooks turned in a 79, Jacob Connolly shot an 84, Jake Mariani shot an 86 and Mike Doyle shot an 88.
Pyle leads a strong returning core than includes Doyle, Mariani and Zander Ghan. Doyle was the team’s top finisher at last year’s regional tournament (17th), while Pyle wrapped up last season taking 19th and Ghan finished 22nd. Pyle turned around and won the Northern Nevada Junior Golf Association’s Tournament of Champions last August.
Brooks, Jacob Connolly, Jason Connolly, Gary Schlee, Cody Tindel and Matt Johnson are among the newcomers Eddy said he could see contributing this year.
“This is one of the deepest teams I have ever had as a coach as there are 10-12 kids that can shoot very good scores on any given day,” Eddy said. “We have a young team with a lot of talent and desire to get better.
“It’s exciting to see such a group of kids with so much desire and passion for the game. The coaching staff (which includes former Douglas golfer Cody Logan and David Housel), is extremely excited about this year.”
Douglas opened league play Tuesday at Lakeridge, taking fourth overall behind Manogue (381), Galena (411) and Damonte Ranch (443). The Tigers came up just a handful of strokes behind Damonte with 447.
“Overall, it was a decent start,” Eddy said. “Think the kids were somewhat disappointed with how they played, but it gives room to improve. We have a great bunch of kids and it will be fun to see the improvement over the year.”
Brooks and Doyle tied for the team lead, each shooting an 87. Pyle shot an 88 and Jacob Mariani shot an 89, Jacob Connolly shot a 96 and Gary Schlee shot a 97.
“We feel we have the potential to make some noise in league play and hopefully make a run at the state tournament.”