The wall inside Erikson Gym, featuring all the Falcon team winners over the years, will soon sport a new plaque.
On May 8 the South Whidbey boys golf team beat their nearest league competitor by 15 strokes to rank No. 1 in the Cascade Conference.
The Falcons’ closest competitors, of course, are the Lakewood Cougars, the team everyone considered the heavy favorite to finish first.
Everyone was dead wrong.
The Falcons scored 394 to Lakewood’s 409, followed by Sultan, Archbishop Murphy, Cedarcrest and Kings.
“The boys understand the significance of this victory; it doesn’t happen very often,” said Falcon coach Steve Jones.
Blake Blakey medaled with 74, Nathan Kamps and Juan Fernandez had 79 each, Jensen Connor shot 80, John Lindsay had 82 and Brooks Guetlin 84.
“They were poised, calm under pressure and focused on the task at hand,” Jones said. “They were impressive; clearly the event’s class act.”
Guetlin and teammate Tommy Boyle tied for their average score at the end of the season, forcing a playoff match that Guetlin won.
“It feels really good that I can represent the school and beat the supposedly No. 1 team in the league,” Guetlin said. “We work hard and everyone stays late after practice chipping, swinging and putting.”
Boyle traveled as an alternate, just in case a teammate didn’t respond to the 4:30 a.m. wake-up call.
Blakey noted the Falcons beat Lakewood twice in the regular season. Personally he’s ready for district playoffs, to be held
May 14-15 at Snohomish Golf Club.
“All of us feel positive, but it really depends on the level of intensity we bring that day,” Blakey said.
The boys play together Monday. Those who make the cut tee-off on Tuesday and the top 19 individuals qualify for state in Bellingham on May 22.
“I can’t make any predictions,” Jones said.
“Even if you are the best player, in golf you need to perform that day. The entire varsity team has the potential for moving forward,” he said.
For the last few weeks, Jones had the boys focus on the game’s mental aspects. “They have to learn to block out everything going on around them,” Jones said. “It isn’t easy, especially when there’s a lot on the line, like a championship.”
Fernandez was disappointed in his putting but overall is fairly upbeat.
“I feel great, very happy for the team,” he said. “My swing is getting better so my challenge is to get that little ball across the green and in the hole on a regular basis.”
Fernandez added that a lot of the credit goes to his coach. “We’ve learned a lot; he’s very patient.”
Following a celebratory meal of burgers and ice cream, Jones offered the guys a cautionary note.
“I told them we have serious work ahead of us,” he said.
Regardless of what happens Monday, the Falcon golfers are proud of what they’ve accomplished.
And that plaque on the gym’s wall?
“It’s nice to know we’ve left our mark,” Connor said. “And we’re motivated to get another next year.”
Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or email@example.com.