On Par for the State Tournament


Photo courtesy of Randy Crawford

Clayton Crawford tees off on a local course in preperation for the State Golf Tournament.

Teeing up for the first hole of the state tournament, the AHS golf team used every bit of their mental toughness to settle the butterflies in their stomachs. Only one of the four golfers had ever been to the tournament before, so naturally the nerves were intense.  The boys’ varsity team was made up of sophomore Will Hazen, junior Trey Robinson, and seniors Patrick Martin and Clayton Crawford; Crawford being the only returning state competitor.  The AHS boys had a strong fourth place finish, competing against thirteen other teams, in Pueblo, September 30th and October 1st.

As a whole, the team played well the first day and adjusted to the pressure of the situation, and by the end of the first round, AHS had sat in a strong third place.

Armed with confidence in their skills, and with each other, the boys went in to the second day with a strong mentality. After 18 holes in the second round, the boys finished the tournament in fourth place.

“I think the team fought hard and our scores were very respectable. The course was difficult so that inflated everyone’s scores a little bit. In golf it is very hard to play to your potential every round but I think our team is proud of each other and how we played,” Crawford said.

The team had a strong finish in the tournament, especially after going in with relatively low expectations.

“We finished fourth as a team which was pretty good. Our goal was to be top five, so I would say it was a solid finish,” Hazen said.

Participating in the tournament was a great experience for the AHS boys. Because golf is such mental game, the team bonded immensely this season. The bond between the boys was a major support system and helped them to stay focused throughout the season. As a result, the team put in a lot of hard work that showed on the course, and helped them to win the regional tournament for the fifth year in a row.

“We are a hard working group of guys and that really showed on the course at regionals,” Martin said.

The team will suffer the loss of two players next year as Crawford and Martin will be graduating this spring. The team, however, will benefit from having two leaders who have already been to the tournament and know what to expect.

“It was the first state tournament for our other guys (Will, Patrick and Trey) and they handled it very well. The tournament served as a great experience for Trey and Will, and I am confident that those guys will lead another team back to States next year.” Crawford said.

The two talented seniors that led this team to success will continue their golf careers after they graduate, whether they choose to play college golf or just as a recreational activity.

“I really enjoy the game and I plan to keep playing for as long as I can. I may try and see if I could play at a smaller school in college,” Martin said.

Crawford also hopes to pursue his golf career in the future.]

“I’d love to play college golf. I’m keeping an open mind in case my interests change. I think I will always play golf no matter if I end up playing in college or not,” Crawford said.

The AHS golf team had a successful season and it’s safe to say that these boys all have talent. This last season has been a preview of the exciting things to come for the AHS boys’ golf team. The two remaining players will no doubt help to create a strong team and assume a leadership position.

“I benefited immensely from the State tournament this season. Competing at such a high level helped me to build confidence in my ability to play quality golf and better prepared me for next year,” Robinson said.