2016 Boys Golf Regionals
Thursday, Sept. 15
• 5A Western Regional at Broadlands Golf Course (Fairview, Legacy)
Monday, Sept. 19
• 3A Region 2 at Common Ground Golf Course (Holy Family)
• 3A Region 3 at Northeastern 18 (Jefferson Academy, Peak to Peak, Dawson)
• 4A Region 3 at Broken Tee Golf Course (Centaurus, Longmont, Niwot, Silver Creek, Erie, Frederick, Skyline)
• 5A Northern Regional at Saddle Rock Golf Course (Boulder)
• 5A Southern Regional at South Suburban Golf Course (Monarch, Broomfield)
LAFAYETTE — The Peak to Peak boys golf team aren't just concerned with repeating as Class 3A state champions in 2016. The Pumas are also focused on doing some good while they're at it.
To that end, the Pumas have adopted the slogan "Birdies for Harambe" this season in honor of the gorilla that was euthanized after a 3-year-old child fell into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens in May.
Leading the effort, as he also does on the course, is senior defending state champion Samuel Taylor.
"We were kind of looking around for something to do this season and the Harambe incident was all over the news," Taylor said. "We got our parents and coaches to agree to it and we decided we'd total up all the birdies we made and donate a dollar per birdie or eagle to the Animal Legal Defense Fund this season to make a little bit of a difference and hopefully inspire others to do the same along the way."
As of Monday, the Pumas' total was 72 birdies. Taylor added that he has already noticed other teams in their league taking up similar causes.
For their own cause, the Pumas can use all the birdies they can get this time of year. With regional tournaments scheduled for next week, the Pumas are looking to mount a similar late-season surge to the one that earned them the 3A team title and Taylor the individual championship.
Last year, the Pumas trailed favorite Kent Denver in every 3A Metro League tournament but one and ended up winning the state tournament by nine strokes on the strength of an all-around low first day. They finished runners-up to Kent Denver in each of this season's league tournaments until the final one, which they won.
"Our goal is still to get up to about 200 birdies by the end of the season," Taylor said. "We worked really hard in the offseason and leading up to the high school season to be better. We all feel like we could be playing better but this is kind of how are season went last year and that turned out just fine. We're not worried about it and we'll just keep working."
Along with the Pumas, golf teams across the state are preparing for regional tournaments. Also in 3A, 2013 team champion Dawson School figures to contend behind sophomore Billy Howenstein and 2014 champion senior Yale Kim, who placed fifth and sixth, respectively, last season.
In 5A, Front Range League runner-up Fairview enters the regional round on a hot streak with senior Daniel Pearson recently named Front Range League Player of the Year, winning a season-long battle with Boulder's Freddie Gluck. In 4A, defending state champion Jackson Solem leads a strong Silver Creek team into regionals.