Back to Back Tournaments Prove Fruitful for PHS Golfers

By Breanne Thiel The one day of rest between the back to back tournaments for the Powell High School golf teams proved fruitful as two individuals – Rob Sessions and Mycah Wainscott – placed in the top ten and had team finishes in fourth and fifth place for the the Panthers and Lady Panthers respectively.  “It is unusual for us to play on a Friday and Saturday and then turn around and play again Monday and Tuesday so this was a lot of tournament golf for our players but also a great opportunity to see a couple of new teams in Lyman, Jackson and Star Valley,” said head coach Troy Hildebrand. On Friday, August 17th and Saturday, August 18th the golf teams had played in Worland. The teams had Sunday, August 19th off to turn around and play in Lander on Monday, August 20th and Tuesday, August 21st. Hildebrand also stated that the teams had the first top ten performances for the season with Rob Sessions tieing for 10th place shooting 85 on Monday and 86 on Tuesday and Mycah Wainscott tieing for fourth place shooting 89 on Monday and 101 on Tuesday. The Lander Tournament was a seven team tournament. Overall the Panthers finished fourth shooting 378 on Monday and 384 on Tuesday. The Lady Panthers were fifth shooting 356 on Monday and 370 on Tuesday. Both of the Lander boys and girls teams won the team titles. For the boys individual titles, Karsten Simmons of Worland and Jaren Calkins of Lander each shot 3 under for the two days and Simmons won in a playoff. Rachel Stoinski of Lander shot 82-79 to take the girls title.

Panthers

Sessions shot 85 on Monday and 86 on Tuesday. “Another solid week for [Sessions] with two rounds in the mid 80’s,” said Hildebrand who went continued with “he is very close to breaking through and putting up something in the 70’s for us in the next few weeks. I am extremely proud of how he has stayed focused and finished his rounds strong even when he has faced some adversity.” Junior Crandell Sanders shot 87 on Monday and 90 on Tuesday. “[Sanders] came back this week and played okay by his standards,” Hildebrand said. “He had two very different rounds that ended up nearly the same. Monday he putted very well to overcome not hitting the ball that well and Tuesday hit the ball much better but struggled on the greens. When he puts both of those pieces together in the next couple weeks he will be right back in the low 80’s for sure.” George Higgins, a sophomore, shot 85 on Monday and 99 Tuesday. Hildebrand said that Higgins “had a fantastic round Monday with a career best 85. Tuesday he had a couple of tough holes that caused him to be in the upper 90’s but overall he is learning each week and he does a great job of using that knowledge to improve his game for the next tournament.” Sophomore Yogi Sullivan shot 121 on Monday and 110 on Tuesday. “[Sullivan] had a tough Monday but came back Tuesday and played much better,” said Hildebrand. “His front 9 Tuesday was a 50 which is much more in line with what he is capable of posting. This week of practice before Buffalo will be a great chance for Yogi to iron out a few things in his game.” Kason Cannon, a junior, shot 124 on Monday and 109 on Tuesday. Hildebrand said that Cannon “had a real battle on Monday with his 124 but came back Tuesday to shoot a 109 which is more in line with how he has been playing this year. He is figuring out how to get around the course better each week and this practice time before Buffalo should benefit him as well.”

Lady Panthers

Wainscott, a junior, shot 89 on Monday and a 101 on Tuesday. Hildebrand pointed out that Wainscott’s 89 on Monday is a career best while adding that “she hit the ball very well and really showed what she is capable of with that round. Tuesday’s 101 wasn’t a terrible round but [the] first 9 holes she just couldn’t get anything going. I was proud of how she came back and finished her second nine.” Junior Cat Wilson shot 114 on Monday and a 130 on Tuesday. “[Wilson] had a very good day Monday with a career best 114,” said Hildebrand. “That was a very good round for her and I know there is more improvement to come for her over the next few weeks. Tuesday her first two holes were very tough on her but she kept battling along and had a nice stretch in the middle of that round.” Bailey Kennedy, a junior, shot 153 on Monday and a 149 on Tuesday. “Kennedy’s 149 Tuesday is her best tournament round to date but overall she is just playing better all the time. She is limiting her big numbers on holes and just hitting the ball better. She has battled a little bit of a wrist injury and hopefully this stretch before Buffalo will give her time to get healthy,” Hildebrand said. The PHS golf teams were off last weekend which has given them a total of six days of practice before they go to the Buffalo Invitational on Thursday, August 30th and Friday, August 31st.. Hildebrand said that six days of practice “should benefit all of our players and gives us a chance to really work on a few individual areas with each of the players.” The Buffalo Invite is the last competition before the conference match-up next weekend in Star Valley (September 6th and 7th).  

PHS golfers reach midway point in season

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.

Panthers

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.”

Lady Panthers

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.  

Co-hosted Park County Shootout a good start for PHS golf teams

By Breanne Thiel The Powell High School golf teams began the 2018 season co-hosting the Park County Shootout with Cody High School. The Park County Shootout started in Cody at the Olive Glenn Golf Course on Thursday (August 9th) and ended in Powell at the Powell Golf Club on Friday (August 10th). Powell High School head coach Troy Hildebrand said that both he and Cody High School head coach Jake Kraft “were extremely pleased with the tournament we were able to co-host to start the high school season.” “We had great weather, two courses that were in fantastic shape and 13 teams for the two days,” said Hildebrand who continued, “we ended up with 111 players and there was some very good golf played on both the boys and girls sides.” Defending 3A champ Jaren Calkins of Lander won the boys side with a 4 under total of 140 with a 71 in Cody and a 69 in Powell. Megan Griffin of Kelly Walsh shot 81 in both Cody and Powell to win the girls individual title. Kelly Walsh swept the team titles. The Panthers placed sixth overall and the Lady Panthers finished seventh. The 13 teams that competed were: Powell, Cody, Buffalo, Campbell County, Kelly Walsh, Lander, Lovell, Natrona County, Riverton, Sheridan, Thermopolis, Thunder Basin and Worland.

Panthers

Overall the Panthers placed sixth shooting a 351 in Cody and a 346 in Powell, and those scores placed them third among the 3A teams. “I was very pleased with how our boys came out and played for this opening weekend,” said Hildebrand. “We had some personal best individual performances and also put together the best two day total that we have had in the last four seasons.” Crandell Sanders, a junior, shot an 84 in Cody and an 80 in Powell. “[Sanders] had a great weekend with a personal best two day total and also his best high school round to date with the 80,” said Hildebrand who went onto say that “[Sanders] did an excellent job of finishing his rounds off this weekend. Both days he was able to close out his last few holes to post those scores. That is an area that he was really looking to improve on from last year so this is a great first step.” Rob Sessions, a senior, shot an 89 in Cody and an 86 in Powell. “[Sessions] did a nice job by posting two rounds in the 80’s for us,” the coach said. “He played well but in his own words, he left quite a few shots out there this week. He has the potential to shoot under 85 every round and that will definitely be his goal moving forward.” Bennett Walker, a senior, shot an 86 in Cody and a 91 in Powell. Hildebrand said that “[Walker] is entering his third season as a varsity player and this was his best two-day event so far. The best part of the tournament for [Walker] was how well he fought through any tough stretches that he had each day. That is an area that he needed to improve for this year and obviously, this is exactly the start we needed from him.” George Higgins, a sophomore, shot a 92 in Cody and an 89 in Powell. “I have heaped the praise on George for his incredible improvement from a beginning golfer a year ago to this point and his first tournament as a varsity player did not disappoint,” said Hildebrand. “[Walker] was very steady and really played to his strengths both days. He does an excellent job of keeping the ball in play and minimizing his mistakes.” Kason Cannon, a junior, shot a 98 in Cody and a 109 in Powell. “[Cannon] played well in Cody last spring and came right back out Thursday and shot a career-best 98. Friday in Powell with a 109 was still a nice day for [Cannon] and gave him a great place to start off this season from,” said Hildebrand who also said that “[Cannon] has come a long ways and he could be an important factor for us this season.” Yogi Sullivan, a sophomore, shot a 111 in Cody and a 121 in Powell. Hildebrand said that Sullivan “had a tough pair of days but he kept a positive attitude and he’ll do a good job this week of finding some areas to work on and improve before we head to Worland.”

Lady Panthers

The Lady Panthers placed seventh overall shooting a 399 in Cody and a 383 in Powell “This will be a nice starting point for these girls as a team,” said Hildebrand. “Cat [Wilson] and Bailey [Kennedy] really have very little tournament experience so each week will be a great learning opportunity for them.” There is a total of three girls on the Lady Panther golf team, the third is Mycah Wainscott and Hildebrand said that “the bonus is that all three of these girls are juniors so we have this fall, the spring and then their senior season next fall.” Mycah Wainscott shot a 102 in Cody and a 103 in Powell. “[Wainscott] played two decent rounds but by her standards she did not play as well as she would have liked,” said the coach, “she is a very strong player and with a few days of practice on those areas that hurt her this week I know she will bounce back next week.” Cat Wilson shot a 130 in Cody and a 127 in Powell. “[Wilson] did a nice job in both of her rounds of identifying the things that she is doing well and recognizing where she needs some practice,” said Hildebrand who continued to say that Wilson “is a player that I can easily see shooting around 110 by the end of this season.” Bailey Kennedy shot a 167 in Cody and a 153 in Powell. “[Kennedy] hung in there both days and battled through all 18 holes. She just needs some confidence in herself and her game moving forward,” the coach said. “She felt a lot better about things on the second day and I expect her to improve each round this year. The more rounds she gets under her belt the better things will be for her.” The golf teams will head to the Worland Invitational this coming Friday and Saturday (the 17th and 18th of August) for the second event of the season. The invite will take place at the Green Hills Golf Course. Following that, there has been a change to the schedule where the teams will head to compete in Lander on Monday, August 20th and Tuesday August 21st.    

Golfers begin season at Park County Shootout tomorrow

By Breanne Thiel While the first day of school may not be for another two weeks (the 22nd of August), the Powell High School golf teams have already begun their season with the first practice having been held on Monday and the first competition beginning tomorrow. The first competition for the golf teams will be the Park County Shootout, where the golfers will compete in Cody tomorrow (Thursday) at the Olive Glenn Golf Course and in Powell on Friday at the Powell Golf Club. Tomorrows competiton is scheduled to begin at noon and start time is 8 a.m. on Friday “This first tournament has a very large field and if we can get a couple players in the top 15 that would be a great accomplishment,” said head coach Troy Hildebrand adding that “as a team it should give a good starting point and show us some areas where we need to keep working to improve.” Eleven teams are on the schedule to compete in Powell on Friday including five 4A school – Campbell County, Kelly Walsh, Natrona County, Sheridan and Thunder Basin. The PHS golf teams have a total of 12 boys and three girls. “I am excited about the experience that we have returning on the boys side,” said Hildebrand. The Panthers will be led by three seniors – Reece Hackenberg, Rob Sessions and Bennett Walker – who Hildebrand said that “each have three or fours of varsity golf under their belt.” Also on the team is junior Crandell Sanders and sophomore George Higgins. “Sanders is entering his third season as a varsity player and continues to work very hard on his game,” said Hildebrand. Of Higgins, Hildebrand said that he was newcomer last season “but he spent nearly every day of the summer at the course and has really improved.” “We also have a mixed bag of somewhat experience players and newcomers to roundout the boys side,” said Hildebrand. Those seven players are freshman Carson Cannon, junior Kason Cannon, sophomore Grant Jeide, sophomore Yogi Sullivan, sophomore Jacob Thiel, freshman Brandon Wentz and sophomore Taber Wilson. The Lady Panther’s team consist of juniors Bailey Kennedy, Mycah Wainscott and Cat Wilson. “[Wainscott] played varsity all year last year and had a great season earning all-conference honors,” said Hildebrand. “[Kennedy] and [Wilson] were able to get some tournament experience last spring and look to be steadily improving. Both the boys’ and the girls’ teams will have two invitationals between the Park County Shootout and the conference match up. Those two invites are on August 17th and 18th in Worland at the Green Hills Golf Course and on August 30th and 31st in Buffalo at the Buffalo Golf Club. Conference is held in Star Valley on September 6th and 7th at the Valley View Golf Course. Start time on the 6th is scheduled for noon and to resume at 9 a.m. on the 7th. Riverton will be the location of the 3A State Meet on the 14th and 15th of September with start times at 10 a.m. and 9 a.m. respectively at the Riverton Country Club. To see a complete listed schedule please click here.