The prep boys golf season began nearly two months ago and it will end on Tuesday.
Before that happens, nearly three dozen golfers from the BoCoPreps.com area will hit the links with their minds on low scores and hardware. Of particular relevance to the area, the Class 3A state podium figures to be littered with local talent once the two-day tournament has been completed at Boulder Country Club.
Play will begin with the first groups heading out at 9 a.m. and when it does, season-long favorite Walker Franklin from Prospect Ridge will look to put the finishing touches on a fantastic season. Should he accomplish his goal of winning a state title, it would be the first for his school in any sport.
At a rain-shortened 2017 state tournament, Franklin finished runner-up just one stroke behind the eventual champion. That eventual champion was Franklin's friend and local contender Davis Long from Peak to Peak. Long carded a 69 in wet conditions at Indian Peaks Golf Course last season and will be in the hunt for a second state championship come Monday.
The Peak to Peak Pumas, however, did not qualify enough players to defend their 3A team title this fall after winning the team trophy in a playoff last season.
Joining Franklin and Long among this year's title favorites, Holy Family's Jacob Mason might be the hottest golfer in 3A at the right time. Since dominating the 4A Tri-Valley League all season, Mason enters the state tournament as a regional champion and having won the Holy Family Bobblehead Invitational with a 1-under 71 on Tuesday. He will lead a Tigers team of four strong at state.
Also at the Bobblehead, Dawson's Billy Howenstein, another 3A title contender, tied with Fairview's Ryder Heuston for second place. Fairview won the team title.
Heuston tied for sixth place at last year's state tournament and has similarly high expectations in 2018. Even more than for himself, Heuston believes each member of his four-man state team to be capable of shooting in the 70's and that the Knights are among the few teams capable of winning the Class 5A team title at Colorado Springs Country Club this week.
Led by Ben McCormick, the Legacy Lightning also has a full team going to state this year.
In Class 4A, Mead's TJ Shehee enters the state tournament as a regional champion and with his sights set on a state title. The Mavericks' top golfer has placed in the top 25 three times before and will be looking to go out on top at Flying Horse Golf Course this week.
At Boulder Country Club
Billy Howenstein, 9 a.m. on No. 1
Alex Mumm, 9:27 a.m. on No. 1
Garrett Green, 9:36 a.m. on No. 1
Jackson Grace, 9:45 a.m. on No. 1
Jacob Mason, 9:54 a.m. on No. 1
Peak to Peak
Davis Long, 9:36 a.m. on No. 1
Suchit Sharma, 10:21 a.m. on No. 10
Walker Franklin, 9 a.m. on No. 1
At Flying Horse Golf Club
Nick Vaver, 8:30 a.m. on No. 1
Colton Gabbard, 8:39 a.m. on No. 1
Jake Chesler, 8:48 a.m. on No. 1
Adam Gannon, 8:30 a.m. on No. 10
Kellen Kudrna, 8:39 a.m. on No. 1
TJ Shehee, 8:48 a.m. on No. 1
Andrew Elliott, 8:39 a.m. on No. 1
Jack Hoover, 8:48 a.m. on No. 1
Garrett Stansel, 10:18 a.m. on No. 1
David Brett, 10:27 a.m. on No. 1
At Colorado Springs Country Club
Grant Alqatami, 10:03 a.m. on No. 1
Jaden Park, 10:12 a.m. on No. 1
Ryan Jenson, 10:57 a.m. on No. 1
Brett Reamon, 9:27 a.m. on No. 1
Noah Vrencur, 9:36 a.m. on No. 1
Ryder Heuston, 9:45 a.m. on No. 1
William Chadwick, 9:54 a.m. on No. 1
Ben McCormick, 9:54 a.m. on No. 1
Cormac Arroyo, 10:12 a.m. on No. 1
Matt Ammon, 10:21 a.m. on No. 1
Grant Hoos, 10:21 on a.m. No. 10
Grant Myers, 9 a.m. on No. 10
Thomas Volpe, 10:39 a.m. on No. 10