WINDSOR — Saturday marked the final day of the American Legion baseball schedule for Boulder, and the Panthers’ Grant Rogers was ready to trade his bat and glove for his golf bag.
This exchange hardly was anything new for the Panthers’ sophomore. After all, Rogers spent the entire summer balancing his duties with Boulder’s Legion A squad with a glut of golf tournaments he competed in nearly every week.
On Sunday, though, as Rogers lamented the state of Boulder’s golf team while sharing a conversation with baseball coach Steve Disbrow, the seed of an idea formed. The following day Boulder’s golf coach, James Kozlowski, was placed on paid administrative leave following his arrest on Saturday on suspicion of indecent exposure, and Rogers was wondering who would lead the tryouts for the Panthers’ golf team on Monday.
The baseball coach also has traded the diamond for the links this fall, as he has decided to step in and lead the Panthers golfers on an interim basis. Boulder provided their new coach with a stellar debut on Thursday, as Rogers’ first-place effort led a superb all-around performance in the Panthers’ victory at the Fossil Ridge Invitational.
“They came out and were focused, and we had a good week of tryouts,” Disbrow said. “It’s only my third day with them, so it’s still a feeling-out process on my end. But they came out and hit the ball real well.
“This is my first time coaching golf, but I’ve been around it the better part of my life. I’m kind of learning on the fly. I have a great assistant in Rick Uhlir, who has been a golf coach at Boulder High for 20-plus years, so I’ll certainly lean on him a lot.”
Boulder finished with a team score of 293 to easily out-distance runner-up Fossil Ridge by 13 strokes. Fairview placed third with a 307 and Monarch finished fifth with a 315. Legacy was eighth at 331.
Rogers set the tone for the Panthers by firing a 1-under-par 70 at Highland Meadows Golf Course. Rogers suffered two bogeys and a single double-bogey, but he offset those trouble spots by carding five birdies.
Rogers had plenty of help, as the Panthers’ Alec Poorman placed second with an even-par 71 and junior Grant Dinkel finished in a tie for third with a 1-over 72.
“We’ve all talked as a team during tryouts and practice, and we’ve all kind of decided to focus on golf and not anything that has happened in the past,” Rogers said. “We’re just looking at what we can do with the next shot. Now it’s just playing golf.”
Kevin Wohlfarth paced a balanced effort for Fairview by finishing in a tie for seventh-place with a 75. Playing without top golfer Matt Vacek, the Knights nonetheless put together an impressively balanced effort, as all five golfers finished between 75 and 82. Cason McHose, who replaced Vacek in the varsity lineup, tied for the team’s third-best score with a 77.
“My putts were killing me on my front nine, but it really came together on the back nine,” Wohlfarth said. “We had a lot of guys working hard over the summer and this is an exciting effort for us. It’s a good start and shows we’ll have a lot of guys who can contribute this year.”
Monarch was led by Cooper Taylor and junior Alex Mautz, each of whom carded 78s. Legacy’s Trevor Glen paced the Lightning with a 76, while Nick Hepp shot a 78.
Follow Pat Rooney on Twitter: @prooney07
Fossil Ridge Invitational
At Highland Meadows G.C., par 71
Team scores — Boulder 293, Fossil Ridge 306, Fairview 307, Rocky Mountain 314, Monarch 315, Loveland 316, Fort Collins 322, Legacy 331, Greeley West 334, Poudre 356, Mountain Range 366, Horizon 406.
Top individuals — 1. Grant Rogers, Boulder, 71; 2. Alec Poorman, Boulder, 71; t3. Grant Dinkel, Boulder, 72; t3. Derek Denovellis, Greeley West 72; 5. Cole Bundy, Loveland, 73.
Other Boulder results — Riley McCarthy 80, Leo Huettel 83.
Fairview results — Kevin Wohlfarth 75, Harry McGill 77, Cason McHose 77, Jackson Vacek 78, David Sherwood 82.
Monarch results — Alex Mautz 78, Cooper Taylor 78, Jackson Elliott 79, Nathan Tennigkeit 80, Josh Hill 86.
Legacy results — Trevor Glen 76, Nick Hepp 78, Zach Moritz 83, Matt Berger 94, Steven Spanich 94.