The whole team may not be going to Monday’s state tournament in Las Vegas but first-year coach Elaine Adams is banking on her top two golfers creating havoc.
After placing in the top 10 throughout the regular season, seniors Kelvin Cann and Chance Wood will represent the Greenwave on Monday and Tuesday after both finished fifth and 19th, respectively, in last year’s state tournament. Cann finished the season with a third-place finish at South Tahoe and was named to the all-league first team while Wood was named to the second team.
Adams likes her golfers’ chances at the state tournament, especially with Cann battling defending 3A champion Daniel Mahlke of Spring Creek. Both golfers have been holding the top two spots in the standings with Mahlke holding the edge after winning the Tahoe and Truckee tournaments to close out the season.
“He and Kelvin have battled all year for the top spot in the Northern 3A. I expect the same at state,” Adams said. “Chance has been consistently in the top 5 as well. Both are peaking at the right time and will contend for top medalist this year.”
Wood is right there with them. He sits in fifth place and has been several strokes away from giving his teammate a run for the school’s best golfer. Both even tied at Tahoe last week.
But Adams said Cann and Wood just need to focus on one shot, one hole at a time in the biggest tournament of the season.
“Both need to play their game and not worry about how others they are paired with are scoring,” she said. “Each needs to play with confidence and believe in themselves. They have worked hard to get to this point and the hard work will pay off.”
And it didn’t hurt having an ex-Greenwave state champ visit the course this week. Scott Smith, who led Fallon to the 2006 state championship and starred at Nevada before competing in several PGA tournaments, helped prepare the team going into Wednesday’s final regular-season tournament.
“Kelvin, Chance, Jace (Harmon) and Cody (Sponsler) were able to play and learn from Scott this week in practice,” she said. “He gave them valuable advice about what it takes to do well at state and offered encouragement to all the players.”
Adams said both Harmon and Sponsler have improved greatly since the first tournament.
“Jace has shown steady improvement dropping his score by 10 strokes,” Adams added. “Cody has shown rapid improvement in his first year on the team. Six freshmen return next year and all have gotten match experience this year and show great potential.”