If you go
What: State golf tournaments, Sept. 26-27
Class 5A: Bookcliff Country Club, Grand Junction
Class 4A: River Valley Ranch, Carbondale
Class 3A: Saddle Rock, Aurora
LOUISVILLE — While most players and coaches will gripe about having to go to Grand Junction to play the Class 5A state tournament, you won't get too many complaints out of the Monarch contingent.
Sure, longtime coach Mike Riley would have loved to take his entire team to Bookcliff Country Club, but he knows in Ethan Alexander and Danny Gallant, they have a chance to do something special.
It was at Grand Junction's oldest municipal track last season that Gallant won a regional title for the Coyotes and Alexander played very well.
"They are familiar with where the nuances are and we will be going over on Sunday and having a practice round again," said Riley, whose team lost a two-hole playoff to Rock Canyon on Monday at the South Regional tournament at South Suburban to miss sending the entire team.
"They have experience with it but they haven't played it a lot. Courses change from year to year, but they know the layout and that will give them some advantages of when to leave the driver in the bag."
There are not too many schools around the state that can claim two regional champions on the same team, but such is the case for Monarch. It was Alexander's turn at South Suburban, where he carded a 1-under par on the 6,700-yard layout to win by two shots.
Riley is confident that Alexander can control his game on the tree-lined Bookcliff fairways and play smart golf.
"I'm sure he's going to go over there and play quite well," Riley said. "He's a straight, long driver and a great putter that doesn't give any away.
"He's just Mr. Steady. He doesn't get rattled and goes out there to make pars. If he makes a birdie, he's happy."
Alexander will be one of two regional champs from BoCo that will play in Grand Junction. Fairview's Daniel Pearson fired a 6-under 66 to win the Western Regional last week at the Broadlands and helped the Knights qualify their entire team
Boulder's Freddie Gluck finished one shot behind Cherokee Trail's Bradley Scalia in the North Regional at Saddle Rock.
The Class 4A tournament will also head west, to Carbondale's River Valley Ranch Golf Club where all eyes will be on Silver Creek's Jackson Solem.
The Longmont Christian senior, who won the Class 4A North Regional tournament on Monday at Boomerang, won it all last year and has visions of guiding the Raptors team to something bigger. Solem will be joined by T.J. Shehee (a third place finish at the North Regional on Monday in Greeley), Dietrich Berning and Garrett Stansel.
Niwot's foursome of Jake Butler, Max Kuesel, Andrew Elliott and Jack Hoover will be hot on Silver Creek's tail.
The Class 3A tournament will have the most distinct BoCo feel to it. Fourteen plays and three teams will be in contention at Saddle Rock in Aurora.
A heavy-hearted Peak to Peak team wore blue ribbons to honor fallen classmate Brandon Ries, who passed away on Friday after collapsing at a cross country meet, in their regional tournament in Sterling Monday and the Pumas' Ian Thorpe finished tied for sixth at the Northeastern 18.
Also in Sterling, Dawson qualified a team for the seventh consecutive season. Billy Howenstein finished fifth, but it is hard to forget about Yale Kim, who has a state title to his credit — ironically at the Northeastern 18. Coach Arnold Lewis is excited about his freshman Andrew Platt, who will be the third representative in Aurora.
Jefferson Academy's Jacob Mason finished third overall in Sterling.
After dropping down from Class 4A, Holy Family is back in 3A and back in contention. The Tigers qualified their entire foursome for state at their regional tournament at CommonGround.
Also CHSAA newcomer Propect Ridge will be represented by Walker and Jaxon Franklin. The Miners brothers each posted top 10 finishes, Walker tied for third, at their regional tournament.
BOCO STATE QUALIFIERS
At Bookcliff C.C. (Grand Junction)
At River Valley Ranch G.C. (Carbondale)
At Saddle Rock G.C. (Aurora)
Peak to Peak