By Breanne Thiel
The Powell High School golf season is only a total of six weeks from the first invitational to the state championships and the golf teams have reached their midway point in the season having competed at the Worland Invitational on Friday, August 17th and Saturday, August 18th.
The Panthers finished fifth as a team shooting 367 on Friday and 390 on Saturday and both of the Lady Panthers showed great improvement from a week ago.
On the boys’ side, Worland won the invite shooting 314 on Friday and 309 on Saturday and Karsten Simmons of Worland placed first shooting 72 on Friday and 71 on Saturday.
For the girls’ side, Thunder Basin won as a team shooting 267 on Friday and 262 on Saturday. Individually, Caleigh Essert of Torrington placed first shooting 71 on Friday and 79 on Saturday.
The Panthers finished fifth out of the 12 teams who competed – Worland, Thermopolis, Sheridan, Thunder Basin, Buffalo, Torrington, Rawlins, Cody, Riverton, Lovell, Kemmerer and Powell.
“We shot a solid 367 on Friday but slipped to a 390 on Saturday,” said head coach Troy Hildebrand who also added that Crandell Sanders did not compete this weekend because he had a family commitment.
Rob Sessions, a senior, shot 85 on Friday and 89 on Saturday- scores that placed him just outside of the top this week as he took 13th place out of the 71 competitors.
“It was nice to see him keep his round in the 80’s on Saturday when he had a few struggles,” Hildebrand said of Sessions. “He needs to keep working on his short game and just cleaning up some things around the greens to get down to the low 80’s or upper 70’s.”
Fellow senior Bennett Walker shot 83 on Friday and 94 on Saturday.
“[Walker] had a very steady first day and really did a lot of things well,” said Hildebrand. “Saturday he had some ups and downs but overall he is playing pretty well at this point in our season.”.
George Higgins, a sophomore, shot 95 on Friday and 97 on Saturday.
Of Higgins, Hildebrand said that he had “the least experience of any of our players on the Worland course and he did a nice job of working his way around each day. He is doing a lot of things well right now and I know his best golf this season is ahead of him.”
Junior Kason Cannon shot 104 on Friday and 110 on Saturday.
“[Cannon] continued his steady play this fall with these two rounds,” Hildebrand said. “He has some areas that need work still but he has done a good job of hanging in there each round and posting his best score for us.”
Yogi Sullivan, a sophomore, shot 114 on Friday and 124 on Saturday.
Hildebrand said that Sullivan “is not scoring as well as he is swinging the club right now. He has a lot of positive potential in his game and we just need to work over the next three weeks to get the best out of him.”
On the girls’ side of the competition, a total of nine teams competed – Thunder Basin, Torrington, Sheridan, Riverton, Worland, Cody, Thermopolis, Buffalo and Powell. Out of those nine teams, four schools including Powell did not have a team score as at least three golfers are needed.
Like Sanders, Bailey Kennedy had a family commitment over the weekend.
Mycah Wainscott, a junior, shot 100 on both days to finish 13th overall out of the 29 total golfers.
“[Wainscott] played better this week in Worland and she is right on the cusp of really breaking through,” said Hildebrand adding that “she hit the ball better this week and without a few short game slip-ups she would have been under 100 both days. [Wainscott] just missed a top ten finish and I expect her to be there in the next couple weeks.”
Cat Wilson, a junior, shot 122 on Friday and 129 on Saturday.
Hildebrand said that Wilson “had very little experience in Worland and she did a great job of working her way around a new course. She is getting more confident each round and is hitting more and more good shots. She has great desire to keep improving which will pay dividends for her in the future.”
Next up for the golf teams is to travel to compete at the Lander Invite today (August 20th) and tomorrow (August 21st) where seven teams will compete.
“This is a great opportunity for our kids to get in one more tournament because in the past few years we haven’t been able to compete the week we start school,” said Hildebrand. “We’ll head to Buffalo on Thursday the 30th and Friday the 31st after we have a solid week and a half of practice following Lander.”
Buffalo is the last invitational before the conference tournament on September 6th and 7th.