Arapahoe finished third on the team leaderboard at Class 5A State Golf Tournament held Oct. 1-2 at the Colorado Springs Country Club.
Senior Riley Rottschaefer was happy yet truthful when asked to evaluate how the Warriors played.
“We talked about it and realized there were a lot of things we could have done differently,” said Rottschaefer. “It's frustrating because we played not very good and still got third.
“We will look back and we'll be happy about it but we could have definitely played better than we did. We are still going to be happy with a third place in the state of Colorado.”
Rottschaefer and Caleb Busta wound up tied for 10th place on the individual leaderboard. Rottschaefer had rounds of 76 and 75 for a 151 two-round total and Busta opened with a 75 and had a final round 76.
Jack Tickle, the third-scoring Arapahoe golfer, came in with a 154 with rounds of 78 and 76 on the 7,030-yard course. Chris Jonell, the fourth senior on the team, had scores of 83 and 81.
Arapahoe was tied with Fossil Ridge for second place in the hunt for the team championship after the first day and was six shots behind first-round leader Lakewood. Fossil Ridge, sparked by a 5-under-par round of 66 by medalist Dillon Stewart, had a three-golfer total of 221 on the second day and won the state title with a 450 total aggregate.
Lakewood was second at 455, just a shot ahead of Arapahoe.
“We were hoping for a top three finish,” said coach Harry Buckner. “I thought Valor Christian and Regis would be one, two and we would be battling for third but Lakewood and Fossil Ridge had some good players and that didn't surprise me.
“Driving accuracy on this course was pivotal. If you don't drive the ball well, you won't play well. This was an old course and there were too many trees. The players that stayed out of the trees did well, like Fossil Ridge.
“We're used to playing at South Suburban where there are no trees, so it was tough for our kids to play here. And we had too many three-putts. But I saw some of the best shots that I have ever seen over trees, under trees, around trees and through trees.”
Rottschaefer is one of the longest hitters in the state and felt there was more to worry about than the trees.
“It was not as much the trees as I would say the course being long and the doglegs,” he said. “It was a pretty long course and there were a lot of doglegs and the trees came into play a lot more with the doglegs. That made the course pretty tough and then the greens were pretty tough too. Still, we're happy with it but could have been better.”
Valor Christian, a perennial title contender in 4A, made its debut in the 5A tournament and came in fifth. Ty Findlow had a final round 1-under-par 70 to lead the way for the Eagles with a 36-hole total of two-over-par 144 which put him in third place.
Other South Metro top 10 finishers were Tarek Salem of Highlands Ranch, who was sixth at 148, and Chaparral's Jonas Graham, who tied for seventh at 150.
In the Class 4A state tournament played at the Flying Horse Golf Course in Colorado Springs, Ponderosa's Mac Konrad was the runner-up for medalist honors with a 1-over-par 145 two-round total. He put together rounds of 73 and 72 and played consistently with 24 pars, six birdies, five bogeys and one double in the two rounds.
Westin Pals of Lutheran paced three South Metro golfers in the 3A tournament held at the Boulder County Club. He fired rounds of 75 and 72 to finish 10th with a 147 total.
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