Steamboat golfers wrap up regular season, shift focus to regionals

John F. Russell

— Senior Will Firestone of the Steamboat Springs High School golf team wrapped up the regular season Tuesday with a strong showing at the Vail Mountain School Invitational at Vail Golf Club.

Firestone led the charge for the Sailors shooting a 74 on the par-71, 6,281-yard course nestled in the Vail Valley. He finished just one stroke behind tournament leader Will Hazen of Aspen, who led his team to a first-place finish with his round of 73.

Aspen won the tournament with a team total of 234 and was followed by Vail Mountain School in second at 240 and Eagle Valley in third at 242. Firestone’s round helped Steamboat finish fifth despite the fact the team was without top golfer Britt Walton, who sat on the sidelines Monday and Tuesday to allow fellow seniors to get one more high school tournament under their belts and younger players to step up and gain some experience at the high school level.

Steamboat’s Jacob Taulman finished with an 83 while Jack Starkey and Jack McNamara tied with rounds of 87. Jordan Gorr also played in the tournament shooting a 94 for the day.

“It was a chance to get some seniors their last rounds and junior varsity players some tournament experience,” coach Andrew Donner said.

Donner said he has most of his regional lineup set with Walton taking the No. 1 spot, Firestone in the No. 2 spot and Starkey in the No. 3 spot. Donner said Noah Bass and Nolan Sankey will play some sort of playoff this week to determine the Sailors’ final spot before next week’s regional tournament in Steamboat.

“It’s a good situation to have,” Donner said. “That way whoever wins that spot will be battle tested and ready to go.”

Donner also elected to sit Walton, Firestone and Starkey on Monday allowing a few new faces to enjoy the experience at the Lakota Canyon Ranch in Newcastle, which is located between Rifle and Glenwood Springs. Sankey finished his round in Newcastle with an 80 to lead the Sailors. Teammate Noah Bass finished at 83, and Zach Rossa scored a 91 to give the Sailors a team total of 254.

But there is no question that the Sailors are focused on next week’s regional tournament, which will take place at the Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat. The top players and teams in that event will earn a berth in the Colorado State High School Championships slated to take place Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 at the Fox Hill Country Club in Longmont.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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