The Lovell High School golf team concluded the fall season at the Class 2A State Golf Tournament Friday and Saturday in Newcastle, and two members of the team earned all-state (top 10) honors.
Lovell’s lone female golfer, sophomore Adessa Lundberg, shot a 107 the first day and a 104 the second for a third-place score of 211. She earned all-state honors for the second straight year.
“Adessa placed third and was one stroke away from second and only four strokes away from first,” coach Craig Lundberg said.
Junior Brenen Hinckley placed fifth at State by shooting an 89 the first day and a 90 the next day for a fifth-place score of 179. Hinckley also earned all-state honors for the second straight year.
“He knows that he could have done a little better,” Lundberg said. “He played well, but he was a little upset with his scores.
“Both of these individuals were all state last year and to see them achieve that was great. I know Brenen and Adessa will also not settle with where they finished this season. They want to improve and become better golfers as we move forward. They all have the ability to get much better. If they put in some time we will see some great improvement.”
Sophomore Zeke Newman tied for 17th by shooting a 110-97 for a two-day total of 207.
“Zeke was able to shoot a round of 89 this year,” Lundberg said. “If he can be more consistent with that, then he will be a factor moving forward into the next season.”
Junior Kirk Thomas was the third finisher for Lovell and placed 32nd at State by shooting a 115-123 for a two-day score of 238.
“Kirk Thomas was one of the individuals that improved a ton this year,” Lundberg said. “I know that his state tournament did not go as well as he would have liked, but I love the improvement that he showed.”
Sophomore CJ Pickett was the next finisher for the Bulldogs and placed 34th in Newcastle by shooting a 126-115 for a score of 241.
Sophomore Lane Herman placed 39th as he shot a 136-135 to finish the tournament with a 271.
“We had Lane Herman and CJ Pickett participate this season,” the coach said. “From the beginning of the year to the end of the year they showed vast improvement in their golf games. The cool thing was seeing them get hooked on the sport. They wanted to be playing golf all the time. That is pretty cool.”
For the members that did go to State, Lundberg said they were disappointed in their performance, however, Lundberg is pleased that he will likely return his entire team next year.
“I know that in talking to the members of the team they were a little disappointed in how they played in one way or another,” Lundberg said. “We had a couple of individuals that had set some pretty high expectations, and when you don’t meet those you become disappointed.
“The great thing for us is that we will not lose one golfer to graduation. That means that we will have some experienced golfers moving forward. We had some great efforts this season and I hope that the kids understand the potential that we have as a team moving forward.”
Sophomore Dallin Hoffman competed for Lovell this year but did not compete at State.
“Dallin Hoffman did not make the state tournament roster, but he improved a great amount from beginning to the end of the season,” Lundberg said, “especially for someone that had never played golf before.”
The Bulldog golfers are off until the spring golf season, which begins in March with the first tournament scheduled for Friday, April 5, in Worland. Lundberg said he would like to see some of the athletes that don’t compete in a winter sport practice their skills during the off-season.
“Most of the golfers will be competing in a winter sport,” the coach said, “so all I want from them is to start preparing to do the best they can in that season. For a few that do not compete I would love to see them be able to swing a club this winter. That is hard to do because we do not have access to anything that we could use for those athletes. If we had a simulator or somewhere they could hit their clubs, that would be a huge bonus. I know there are some school-discounted options out there, and I may have to feel them out and see if we can get something going.”
Lundberg also encourages athletes in the area that are not out for other spring sports to try out for golf this spring.
“I just want to encourage the athletes that have never tried golf and are not participating in a spring sport to give golf a try,” Lundberg said. “It is a very hard sport to become good at, but it is also one that you might be naturally good at and not even know it. For spring, that is what I am looking forward to — seeing some athletes give this sport a go.”
By Sam Smith