Despite recent weeks of sunshine and warm weather, as soon as the Division I North Golf Championships got underway Monday, in came the grey skies, clouds, rain and even some thunder and lightning.
The boys golf teams at Bishop Manogue and Reno handled the rough weather relatively well and the two schools sit first and second after Day 1 action of the two-day tournament, being played at Red Hawk Golf Club. The two schools turned in team totals of 397 and 402 Monday.
While the tournament is hosted by Red Hawk, the home course of Spanish Springs, the Cougars did not cash in on any local knowledge. Spanish Springs struggled to a 445 team total, more than 20 strokes above its season average. The 445 leaves Spanish Springs sitting sixth in the team standings after the first round.
The top two teams, and the top five individuals from non-qualifying teams, will advance to compete in next week's Division I State Championships, which will be played at Sierra Sage Golf Course in Reno May 13-14.
"We had high aspirations for this tournament," Spanish Springs coach Nick Wirshing said. "We felt good coming in. We felt good when we teed off. Maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves with this being our home course. I think almost all of our guys shot their worst scores of the year."
Spanish Springs' No. 1 golfer, Anthony Decker, limped into the clubhouse with a score of 96, roughly 15 strokes higher than his season average. Cole Shirley led the SSHS scoring contingent with a score of 84. He was followed by the 86 and 87 of Matt Perera and Tommy McAlister. The final counting score for the Cougars was the 92 of Owen Bartlett.
Teams need only count their lowest five scores of six participating players. Spanish Springs threw out the 110 of Jake Keady, who just a week ago shot an 84 at Lakeridge.
Monday's ugly weather brought play to a screeching halt in the late afternoon, suspending play for nearly an hour as the thunder and lightning passed through the area.
"I'm not going to say the weather didn't affect us, because it did," Wirshing said. "But it did not affect us to the point where we should shoot those scores. It was us and our mindset, along with a combination of the bad luck and bad weather. That added up to the bad scores."
Bishop Manogue's Nick Turner was one of five golfers to shoot in the 70s Monday. His 74 was tops in the field at the first round's conclusion. Reno's David Hinitz (75), Manogue's Harrison Holetz (77), Manogue's Jens Verhey (78) and Damonte's Julius Lorentzen (78) were the other four players to break under the 80 mark.
Another Sparks school was also in action Monday. Reed totaled a 454 team score, leaving the east Sparks school in seventh place after Day 1. Trevor Wood and Nate Daylo paced Reed's contingent, carding scores of 80 and 83 respectively. Wyatt Koskie put together a round of 88. Will Rizzuto finished with a 101. Travis Page and Garrett Marchese both shot a score of 102, leaving Reed to count one and toss one.
"Three of my guys shot like they have all year," Reed coach Nick Nemsgern said. "Trevor and Nate are in the Top 10 and fighting for state berths. We're happy about that. A couple of boys struggled, but the nice thing about regionals is it's two days. You get a chance to come back."
While Wood and Daylo put themselves in the mix of golfers that could vie for one of the five individual state berths, so did Shirley of Spanish Springs.
"If Manogue and Reno go to state, he's sitting seventh with the top five moving on," Wirshing said. "I feel like he'll be going good tomorrow. He can put up a round in the 70s out here. I think if he puts up a 78 or better, he could do it."
Second round action begins Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. with a shotgun start.