Ryan Reed, Evan Lewis, Kevin Clement, Eastan Lewis and Cooper Adams made North Hopkins High School history as the first golf team to qualify to compete in the state competition.
The golfers said qualifying for state was a total team effort, with each team member contributing and coming through on different days.
“For the three of is it’s been four pretty hard years trying to make it, I guess,” Reed said, referring to the three seniors on the team: Reed, Evan Lewis and Adams. “I think the one who’s put the most work in is Evan; he’s year-round. Me and Coop, we’ve had jobs, so we haven’t been able to work as hard as Evan. So, he’s definitely the team carrier.”
“We won some tournaments. We played pretty good this season,” Evan Lewis said.
“Definitely our best season,” said Reed.
“We won several practice tournaments,” Adams said.
“We felt pretty good going into the regional tournament,” Reed said. “It took all five of us. Normally, they take the top four out of the five each day. But we had to take each one of our scores.”
The first day, Clement stepped in when Adams wasn’t able to attend.
Evan Lewis lead things the second day of the tourney. They said they really felt the pressure during the first nine holes, when they weren’t doing as well as they would have liked.
“Cooper had a really good day, so we had to take Coo’s score,” Evan Lewis said.
“We turned it around at the back back nine,” Adams’
“It was a team effort to get where we are,” Reed said.
To ready them for state, the team members have tried to play every day. That can be difficult, however, with all of the end of the school year activities and three of the five students working after school as well.
Last year, Evan Lewis missed out on going to state by four shots, and the NH golf team was ranked third going into regional competition, where they finished 6th. This year, the team went into the regional meet ranked 8th, and finished in third place, Evan Lewis and Eastan Lewis said.
They had a two day total of 689. Evan Lewis places 5th with a two day total of 151. He shot a 76 and 75.
“It’s just a relief that we finally did it,” Clement said.
“I feel like we’ve got some unfinished business left to do,” said Eastan Lewis. “We’re heading in ranked sixth, title ranked sixth. I feel we can get up there more.”
“We didn’t even do that good at regional, what our potential could be. We could do a lot better,” Clement said.
The team members said they do realize they will be facing some stiff competition at state, including two of the best teams int he region.
While the team would love to win the title, they said they are striving to place in the top three to five at state.
“It’s something I feel like we’ve earned, working hard on this the last four years,” Reed said.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Adams said.
“When we were younger, the three of us,” Reed said pointing to his fellow seniors, “set out and said we were going to focus on golf. I quit baseball freshman years to focus on this. These two did sophomore year.”
The seniors said they have no regrets, especially since it has allowed the team to advance to state competition.
Clement said his biggest challenge on the field has been focus, but maturing as he’s gotten older has helped some with that.
Reed said he finds keeping your temper under control can sometimes be a challenge. Evan Lewis clarified, explaining that being able to keep your composure when things don’t go your way is challenging.
“On the golf course, you’ve got to have a short term memory,” Eastan Lewis added, admitting that’s not always easily achieved, as it can be hard not to let a bad shot can spoil a game in terms of attitude.
The team will leave Sunday in order to be ready to play Monday. For the seniors, that will mean going departing on their senior trip on Saturday, only leave Sunday. Juniors Eastan Lewis and Kevin Clement will meet the seniors at Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin for a practice round Sunday. The team hopes that will be enough to give a them a good enough feel for the course. Their first round of tourney play will be Monday, with the second following on Tuesday.
“This has been a great group of kids to get to work with. They have worked hard, because they have done it all on their own. They go practice on their own. They play a lot of golf, got in some tournaments during the summer so they could get better. Every coach wants to go to state, but for this group to be the one that you get to go to state with is pretty special,” Coach Danna Lewis said.