Pair of Sailors golfers wrap up season at state tournament
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs High School junior Travis Seitz and sophomore Jeremy Nolting were the only golfers representing the Sailors at the 4A State Tournament this week. After two tough days of competition at the Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Seitz finished in 26th place and Nolting 46th.
Both had one good day and one bad day.
Seitz had a rough go of it Monday, swinging an 87. After a strong season, Seitz had pretty high expectations of himself going into state.
“Like most kids when you don’t play very well, you’re pretty bummed,” said Steamboat head coach Andrew Donner. “He got a little down on himself when he finished up because he knew he was capable of more and that’s pretty normal for a kid.”
After Monday’s competition, Seitz sat in 53rd place. On day two, Seitz settled down and swung a 75, four strokes over par, helping him move up nearly 30 spots in the standings. He ended the two-day tournament with a total of 162.
“He looked a lot more comfortable out there,” Donner said. “I don’t think he put as much pressure on himself.”
Meanwhile, Nolting did the opposite. He started strong on day one, but ended up faltering the second day.
Donner was impressed with how composed Nolting was for his first-ever state golf tournament appearance.
“Jeremy’s a ski racer. I watch all these ski racers play golf, and they seem to be a little calmer or handle things a little differently than most, just from ski racing. I’ve noticed that over the years,” Donner said. “He was kind of nervous. After he hit his first tee shot, he looked at me with some pretty big eyes and had a deep breath come out, but he hit the ball really well.”
That composure resulted in an 82, putting Nolting in 28th halfway through the tournament.
Day two saw a few more struggles.
“He didn’t necessarily play that bad,” Donner said. “But if you get out of position on that golf course just a little bit on the greens, it gets really hard to score. That happened to both those kids.”
More than likely, Seitz and Nolting will return next year, perhaps with teammates. The Sailors don’t graduate many seniors and return a lot of strong, young golfers. Donner is excited to see what the next few years bring.
“I learned a bit more about managing nerves and keeping it going,” said Nolting. “One hole really doesn’t matter for the entire tournament.”
The season saw many underclassmen or less-experienced golfers improve. Despite the pandemic introducing limitations to travel and competitions, the Sailors made it through the season successfully. Donner said the parents, particularly for regionals and state, were extremely supportive of the athletes and coaches. Parents had to travel with their kids and stay in hotels with them for the overnight competitions.
“We got the season in,” Donner said. “In a year like this, getting states in and getting the kids to play and compete, that’s just a success in itself.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.