EHS golf teams win home invitational at Purple Sage

EHS golfers Ryker Lind (left) and Allie Sanchez-Mackey finished runner-up at the Evanston Invitational, held at the Purple Sage Golf Course Thursday and Friday. The Red Devils and Lady Devils won the team titles, the second tournament for both this season. (HERALD PHOTOS/Don Cogger)

Lind, Sanches-Mackey second; Snake River Shootout next

The Evanston High School golf teams continued their winning ways last week, winning both team titles at the Evanston Invitational, held Thursday and Friday at Purple Sage Golf Course.

“We started early,” said EHS head coach Jerry Carroll. “The kids did a good job this summer, working hard on their own, and you’re seeing the results – we’ve had a couple of great tournaments, boys and girls.”

The Red Devils won the boys’ team title with a 606, followed by Jackson in second (650) and Pinedale in third (682). Star Valley was fourth in the eight-team field with a score of 686, while Rock Springs rounded out the Top 5 with a 691.

“We always talk about the boys, and how if you can shoot 320, you’re a good golf team,” Carroll said. “Our boys shot 308 and a 298 – both well below that 320 mark. I think Purple Sage is a pretty difficult course – the rains have made the rough grow thick, our greens are fast – so those are great scores on a course that’s playing really tough right now.”

Red Devil golfer Ryker Lind finished runner-up by a stroke to Jackson’s Hayes Millham, carding a two-day total of 143; it was his second consecutive runner-up finish.

“Ryker goes out and shoots a 143, and that’s a red number – he’s under par,” Carroll said. “He’s had a great start to the season.”

Joining Lind in the Top 10 were Porter Hall (3rd, 69-77-162), whose opening-round 69 had him atop the leaderboard after Day 1; Sam Dolezal (4th, 84-69-153), who shaved 15 strokes off his opening-round score on Day 2; and Caden Hiatt (T-9th, 85-80-164). Luke Robinette rounded out the Evanston varsity contingent (84-81-165), finishing just outside the Top 10.

“Porter goes out and shoots a 69 on the first day, which is 3-under,” Carroll said. “He struggled on the second day, but really only on one hole – he took a nine on hole 10. But shooting a 69 on any golf course is something. Then here comes Sammy [Dolezal], he struggles on the first day, then the second day, he shoots 3-under. We had three kids shoot under par on that course, which is a great job. Ryker was just a little more consistent, and that’s what we need out of Porter and Sam.”

It will be a scramble for those fourth and fifth spots on the varsity moving forward, as two JV golfers – Cade Brady and Jaxon Hall – shot a 162 and 163, respectively, which would have placed them higher than Hiatt and Robinette, had they been competing with the varsity contingent.

“The depth of our boys’ team is the nice thing,” Carroll said. “We had Cade Brady and Jaxon Hall, who are trying to make our Top 5 – both could have helped our team if they’d been with the varsity. In the JV, we had five of the Top 10 golfers. We’re having a healthy competition within our team, trying to make that Top 5 for every tournament.”

For the girls, the Lady Devils finished in the top spot with a 543, followed by Jackson in second (586) and Star Valley in third (596).

“For our girls, under 300 is a good score, and we finished with a 275-268,” Carroll said. “I think that shows that our girls’ team is a very good golf team.” 

Evanston’s Allie Sanchez-Mackey finished runner-up for the second tournament in a row, struggling to an opening-round 91 on Thursday, but rebounding nicely Friday with an 84, for a two-day total of 175. Green River’s Isabell Salas won medalist honors with a 72-28-150.

“Alli had a little struggle on the first day, but came back with a great 84,” Carroll said.

Joining Sanchez-Mackey in the Top 10 were Kalli Fackrell (4th, 93-88-181), Marlee Torres (5th, 93-96-189) and Maddi Brown (10th, 101-99-200). Hailee Ridenour rounded out the Evanston varsity contingent (T-11th, 91-113-204).

“Kalli also struggled on the first day, but had a great second day,” Carroll said. “Marlee had her best tournament of the year so far, stayed under 100 both days. The girls are learning to be competitively tough – they can’t afford to be nervous, because they’re the frontrunners – teams are gunning for them. Just be competitive, and we’ll be the favorites, going in.”

The EHS golf teams have a busy week ahead, with the JV headed to the Lander Invitational Monday and Tuesday; the varsity will be playing in the Snake River Shootout in Star Valley and Jackson Wednesday and Thursday.

“We have two invites this week, and we’re only allowed to send five boys and five girls to the Star Valley/Jackson Tournament,” Carroll said. “So the kids that didn’t qualify for that one, we’re going to send to the Lander Invite to play as a varsity team, so they’ll get that varsity experience, as well.”