That’s how Vanguard boys’ golf coach John Antunes is looking at the Vikings’ seventh straight title, which they finished Tuesday at the Courses of Clear Creek.
Vanguard, which dropped from TAPPS Class 3A to 2A this season, was never in any danger, building a 30-stroke lead after Monday’s opening 18 holes with a 345 total, then closed with a 333 on Tuesday for a 678 that easily outshot Longview Heritage by 50 strokes for the crown.
“You never take anything for granted, and the first one you win might be the last one, especially for these guys. They’re all seniors except for Carter (Caldwell),” Antunes said. “They know what it takes. They inherited some great players and great history, but they’ve gone past that now and made their own history.”
Caldwell was the leader after an opening-round 76, but got off to a slow start Tuesday.
The junior was 2-over after two holes and 5-over after the front nine. A birdie on 10 helped him settle in and play an “exceptional” back nine, Antunes said. Caldwell never got his putter going, but still managed a 78 for a 154 total that was just good enough to give him his second straight individual state crown.
“I’ve not started off well plenty of times and brought it back, so I have that experience,” Caldwell said.
He got some help, as Dallas Lakehill’s Joseph Nall triple-bogeyed 18 for a final-round 79 that left him one stroke behind Caldwell. It was a completely different finish to last year’s tournament in which Caldwell birdied the final hole to win by one.
Ian Lovett put a bow on his final high school round with a big fist pump after sinking a lengthy putt on the last hole that he described as “icing on the cake to end my high school career.” Lovett finished tied for third with a two-day total of 161 and joined Caldwell on the all-state team.
Lovett joins Riley DeWitt, Riley DuPuy and Blake Stovall as seniors who will leave Vanguard as four-time state champions.
“It’s a little different than a lot of people,” Lovett said. “We tend to dominate everything, and it’s a good feeling to know that people are looking out for you, and it’s a better feeling when we do what we need to do, and we did that yesterday and today.”
While the Vanguard boys wrapped up their state championship, the girls were enjoying the experience.
With a team of only four members — all freshmen — the Lady Vikings finished in seventh place, paced by Mills Chenot’s two-day score of 187 that was good enough for fourth place and a spot on the all-state team.
“I think we were all really excited because we haven’t had a girls’ team for a few years,” Chenot said. “Just for us to get here was exciting, and because we’re all freshmen we’ll be able to get better and do better at state the next couple years.”
Molly Daheim led Temple Holy Trinity to the team title by running away with the individual crown. Daheim lit up the course for a 71 to post a 146 total, 35 strokes better than the second-place finisher.
Reicher’s Mackenzie Stone shot a 111 for a two-day score of 217 at the TAPPS 4A tournament, held at Twin Rivers Golf Club.
By Jason Orts
Tribune-Herald staff writer
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