South Whidbey wins tight golf match over Cedarcrest | FALCON BOYS GOLF

South Whidbey junior boys golfer Ian Saunsaucie plans a putt during Monday’s home match against Cedarcrest.

South Whidbey High School boys golf recorded their first win of the season Monday, as Falcon junior Thorin Helmersen’s eagle helped lift the Falcons over Cascade Conference opponent Cedarcrest.

Helmersen delivered the chip-in for eagle shortly  after recording another for birdie on the previous hole. The plays proved to be crucial as the Falcons closely edged Cedarcrest 321-329 in the 12-hole match on their home course, Useless Bay Golf and Country Club. It was the first home match of the season, as the previously scheduled match against Cedarcrest was postponed due to course work.

The course was being aerated, and the remaining water left on the course provided some adversity for the South Whidbey boys. Yet, the teams were treated to sunny skies on Monday that allowed for a few extra holes to prepare for the post season, when they will be playing 18-hole rounds.

There was solid play all around from the South Whidbey team, as Helmersen (57), junior Anton Klein (58) and junior Ian Saunsaucie (64) topped the scoring charts for the Falcons. Prior to the match, head coach Steve Jones reminded his players that every swing counts, and that proved to be true as ever as Helmersen’s back-to-back chips for a birdie and eagle on the third and fourth holes contributed to the eight-point-score difference.

It was a match of fine margins that needed a moment of quality to separate two very even teams.

“It was my second eagle actually,” said Helmersen after the match. “The greatest feeling was making two chips in a row — one for the birdie and then for the eagle.”

While Helmersen believes he could have done better, he has his sights set on cracking the top 20 this season at the class 1A state championships. Yet for all the quality on display, Jones felt the attitude of his squad was the biggest takeaway from the match.

“What I’m most pleased with is the team spirit the kids showed out there today,” Jones said. “The varsity squad stuck around for an hour to watch the JV team finish their round. It’s a great bunch of kids who show togetherness.”

The squad’s overall play from top to bottom impressed Jones, who focused on the collective effort rather than the big moments in the match.

“I’m happy with some individual play, especially the kids who improved their overall score,” Jones said. “Not only did we see some great plays that affected the final score, but we are improving across the board. I can’t ask for anything more than that.”

Other highlights included impressive displays from the younger players, including freshman Gabe Jacobson-Ross, who scored a 75 after having kept close to the veteran players. Hoping to make state in his first year, which he noted doesn’t happen often, Jacobson-Ross acknowledged his underdog status with aplomb.

“There’s a lot of ‘Where did this kid come from?’ ” he said.