Young golfers from Steamboat area swing for tourney run
An all-star team of the Yampa River Valley’s top young golfers is rolling again.
The local PGA Junior League squad, stacked with 10 of the top local players from league play earlier this summer, has already won its first two head-to-head matches in a 20-team state tournament.
Steamboat’s team first beat a squad from Eagle last week then beat a Keystone team Thursday. Those wins helped set up a trip next week to play a squad from Vail.
“We’ve got a pretty strong team,” said Luke Brosterhous, one of the team’s coaches. “This being the third season we’ve participated, we have kids with some experience, kids who’ve been on the team for a few years now, and they’re doing really well.”
The PGA Junior League started earlier in the summer with four local teams. Two were based at Haymaker Golf Course and one each at Catamount Golf Course and Rollingstone Golf Ranch Golf Club. Those teams played each other throughout the season, and their order of finish determined how many golfers they could get on the region’s tournament team.
Haymaker had one team take the overall win with Catamount second, the other Haymaker team third and Rollingstone fourth.
Travis Seitz, Mike Dinapoli, Colin Kagan, Charlie Reisman, Max Rotermund, Charlie Thompson, Jack Fox, Dave Andujo, Ryan Peck and Heck Stephenson make up this year’s team.
The program has only existed for three summers now, and this marks the third summer the local team has managed to get traction in the postseason single-elimination tournament. Two years ago, it battled all the way through the Colorado bracket to advance to the regional championship in Oklahoma.
Last summer it made it to the Colorado semifinals.
For Brosterhous, director of golf at Catamount, and the other coaches from the city’s other courses, the benefits of the program extend beyond fun tournament runs.
It’s helped get more young players to the courses, Brosterhous said, and it’s helped improve the competitiveness and skill of those players.
“It anchors all of our clubs’ junior programs,” he said. “It’s a great feeder into the high school team as well as into more competitive golf in the region, getting kids exposed to that higher level of play.”
The exact date and time for next week’s matchup against Vail wasn’t yet decided Friday, though it will be a road trip for Steamboat’s team. Vail visited Steamboat a year ago in the same round, Steamboat emerging as the victor.
The team is largely supported by the Steamboat Springs Youth Golf Association.
“It’s a nice community effort, and we’re definitely seeing the benefits of those kids advancing and playing at a pretty high level,” Brosterhous said.
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