Bears wrap dream season
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jordan Smith considers himself a lucky coach.
In his first year at the helm of Rifle’s boys golf team, his Bears produced a dream season.
“I feel really lucky to come in and inherit a team like this,” he said. “Even the talent aside, it’s great to inherit such a great group of kids.”
On Tuesday, that group of kids put the finishing touches on a successful 2011.
Triston Quigley, Jacob Withee, Danny Bartels and Ty Caron represented Rifle at the two-day Class 3A state tournament, held this year at Dos Rios Golf Club in Gunnison.
Quigley, a junior, shot a two-round score of 155 to finish up in a tie for 17th place. His 13-over-par score led the Bears.
Senior Jacob Withee shot an 83 on Monday and an 81 on Tuesday for a 164 that landed him in 38th place.
Junior Danny Bartels finished with a 169 to place 49th and Ty Caron, a sophomore, took 67th with a 176.
“I’m pretty happy with the guys,” Smith said by phone late Tuesday afternoon. “It’s a really good experience. I’m happy for Jacob, our senior. He was able to play pretty well.”
Withee, while not entirely pleased with his state performance, did reflect positively on what’s been an accolade-filled season.
“It was a really good season,” he said. “It’s the best season I’ve ever had, the best season Rifle High School’s had in a long time. We kept each other’s spirits up the whole year, fighting through it, and it ended up with all four of us at state.”
Each of the state-bound Bears qualified as individuals.
Rifle finished second to Aspen in the team standings at the Sept. 20 3A Western Regional, which was held at Rifle Creek Golf Course. Though only the regional team titlist qualified for state as a group, all four Bears finished high enough as individuals to punch their ticket to Gunnison.
Losing just one senior, Rifle will no doubt return to be a force on the Slope next season.
“We have great potential,” Quigley said. “It’s going to suck to lose Withee. He’s a great player and I’ve had a blast playing with that kid. … He’s been here for a while. It’s hard to lose someone, but I think next year we’ll definitely step up our game even more.”
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