Winning the individual championship in a conference like the Class 3A Metro League is not an easy thing to do.
But to dominate the loaded 12-team league way the Prospect Ridge's Walker Franklin did this season, now that was something to behold. The Miners sophomore took first place in the Metro League with a 68-stroke average (best five of six matches) and appears poised to make an even bigger splash at regionals and state after placing 14th in 3A last season.
"Walker Franklin had an outstanding season, winning or tying all six Metro League matches as an individual and has the lowest scoring average of all three high school classifications entering regionals," Peak to Peak head coach John Thornbury said.
As for Thornury's Peak to Peak Pumas, the 2017 Metro League campaign was a strong one for a number of their players en route to a second-place team finish behind reigning 3A state champion Kent Denver. Ian Thorpe led the Pumas by placing fourth with a 70-stroke average, Davis Long and his 73-stroke average were seventh and Nishant Datta placed 10th with an average of 75 strokes. Thorpe and Datta tied for sixth place at state last season.
Dawson's Billy Howenstein, who tied for 10th place at state last season, finished the season with a 72-stroke average and took fifth place. Just behind fifth-place Prospect Ridge, the Mustangs placed sixth after edging Jefferson Academy by two strokes.
In the 5A Front Range League, state team contender Fossil Ridge ran away with the conference championship. Legacy was 30 strokes behind in second place, while Fairview finished third, Boulder fourth, Monarch seventh and Broomfield eighth.
Boulder's Freddie Gluck was the highest local individual placer, claiming fifth place with a four-round score of 300. Legacy's Grant Hoos and Ben McCormick were also first-team all-conference finishers, placing seventh and eighth, respectively. Also earning all-conference honors, Monarch's Brayden Weiss was ninth and Fairview's Ryder Heuston was 10th.
In the 4A Northern League, Silver Creek's Garrett Stansel averaged 76 strokes to place fourth individually and lead the Raptors to a third-place team finish. Niwot's Jack Hoover (77.43 average) placed fifth for the sixth-place Cougars. Both players earned first-team all-conference honors.
Also in the Northern League, Longmont was fifth and Centaurus was seventh.
In the 4A Tri-Valley League, Mead's TJ Shehee finished second individually with a 73-stroke average to lead the Mavericks to a second-place finish in the team competition. Teammate Kellen Kudrna averaged 76 strokes to place fifth.
Regional action gets underway this week and the state tournaments are scheduled for Oct. 2-3.
Regional Golf Schedules:
Fairview at Class 5A Western Regional, Broadlands, 8 a.m.; Boulder, Broomfield at Class 5A Southern Regional, Colorado Springs Country Club, 9 a.m.; Legacy, Monarch at Class 5A Northern Regional, Coal Creek, 8:30 a.m.; Niwot at 4A Region 1, Elmwood, 9 a.m.; Mead at Class 4A Region 4, The Bridges, 9 a.m.; Peak to Peak, Prospect Ridge at Class 3A Region 2, CommonGround, 8:30 a.m.; Holy Family, Jefferson Academy at Class 3A Region 3, Estes Park.
Silver Creek, Centaurus, Longmont, Erie, Skyline, Frederick at Class 4A Region 3, Boomerang.
State Tournament Schedules:
Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 2-3
Class 5A state championship, Common Ground GC, 8:30 a.m.; Class 4A state championships, Raccoon Creek, 8:30 a.m.; Class 3A state championship, Indian Peaks, 8:30 a.m.