EHS golf teams runners-up at 3A State Tourney in Worland
Lind, Dolezal, Torres, Sanchez-Mackey All-State
EVANSTON — For the second time in as many seasons, the Evanston High School golf teams came up just short of the overall team titles at the 3A State Golf Tournament, finishing runners-up with some exciting finishes and playing extraordinary golf at the Green Hills Golf Course in Worland.
The Red Devils — led by All-State performances from Ryker Lind and Sam Dolezal — finished the tournament in second place with a score of 620; Riverton won the team title with a score of 606. Wheatland (647), Pinedale (663) and Lander (675) rounded out the Top 5.
The Lady Devils — who also had a pair of All-State performers in Marlee Torres and Allie Sanchez-Mackey — were second with a score of 539. Wheatland took the top spot with a score of 506; Riverton (555), Douglas (559) and Lovell (578) rounded out the Top 5.
“The kids really did a nice job,” said EHS head coach Jerry Carroll. “As always, everybody wants to finish first — we have those goals when we start the season. But the kids did a fantastic job, and had a great year.”
Red Devil junior Ryker Lind found himself in a dogfight with Riverton’s Parker Paxton, who was bidding for his fourth consecutive 3A State Championship. Both golfers shot well under par for the tournament, with Paxton edging out Lind by two strokes to claim medalist honors.
“Ryker Lind proved that he’s a really great golfer — the second best golfer in the state, as it played out, behind Parker Paxton,” Carroll said. “But this kid [Lind] is 9-under for the tournament — 3-under after Day 1, 6-under on Day 2 and with four holes left, he was tied with Parker Paxton. Paxton hits an Eagle putt from off of the green on the 14th hole to give him a two-stroke lead, then held on. Ryker didn’t lose the tournament; Parker went out and won it. I had the opportunity to watch the whole thing, and you have never seen — in high school golf — as good of golf as was happening right there.”
Sam Dolezal earned All-State honors for the second straight year, carding a 78-76-154, good enough for seventh place. Caden Hiatt finished in a tie for 15th (80-85-165), Luke Robinette was 18th (83-84-167) and Porter Hall rounded out the varsity contingent tied for 26th (89-84-173).
“I think Sam had a really good tournament — both Ryker and Sam were All-State,” Carroll said. “Unfortunately, what kind of came back to haunt us was the inconsistency of our boys. Porter Hall was a little inconsistent, and it ended up not being a great course for him because of his ball flight, and all the trees. But he did a good job. Cade Hiatt and Luke Robinette were both solid, but probably just didn’t have their very best weekend.”
Lady Devil senior Allie Sanchez-Mackey closed out her high school career strong, carding a 87-93-180 to finish 10th, and earn All-State honors.
“I am so excited that I was able to fight and get All-State this year,” Sanchez-Mackey said. “Last year I struggled and didn’t receive All-State, so it made me want to push myself harder my senior year.”
Marlee Torres, however, was the surprise of the tournament for the Lady Devils, shooting an opening-day 95, and following that with an 84 on Day 2 to finish in seventh place with a 179.
“The girls did a good job — we had two All-Staters, which was fantastic,” Carroll said. “We had Allie as an All-Stater, and we were pretty sure we would have that going into the weekend. But probably the biggest surprise — and very pleasant surprise — was Marlee Torres. She’s just been continually improving all season. The first time she broke 90 was at Regionals, and on the second day at state, she shot a nice 84 to move herself up into becoming All-State, and making sure we couldn’t be caught from behind by Douglas or Riverton. There were definitely other teams in there gunning for us. Both of those girls did such a great job, as did the rest — we took Kalli [Fackrell’s] score one day, we took Maddy [Brown’s] score one day. Those girls just did a great job, and had a great season, as well.”
Madison Brown finished 12th (92-91-183), while Kalli Fackrell was 14th (92-94-186). Hailee Ridenour rounded out the varsity contingent at 25th (102-94-196).
“Give Wheatland credit — like Riverton’s boys’ team, this was their third championship with the same kids,” Carroll said. “And Wheatland actually added a freshman that threw an 85 at us, and that was kind of our undoing.”
With the season now in the books, Carroll said that this group of golfers will be one he remembers for a long time.
“The last two years have maybe been the most fun I’ve had, because these kids are so personable, and they want to be such a solid team,” Carroll explained. “They treat each other like great teammates. Our girls — if you’ve ever been around them, they’re just so talkative and fun, but still hard-working and caring about being the best they can be. These kids were great kids on the course, but off the course, they’re fantastic people to be around — both the boys and the girls. They just bring pure joy to the table each and every day, and that’s what I’ll take away from this season.”
For Sanchez-Mackey, her senior season is one she’ll treasure.
“As my high school golf career comes to an end, I think to myself how grateful I am that I got pushed to golf,” she said. “I want to thank Coach Carroll, Rob, Jessie Lind, and my dad who all coached and pushed me to be my best. I also want to thank my team the last four years for supporting me and being my family.”