FREDERICK — Last fall, Jake Chesler accomplished something no other Frederick boys golfer who preceded him ever was able to.
As a freshman in 2018, Chesler tied for seventh place at the Class 4A state championships, making him the first player in the history of Frederick’s boys golf program to finish a state tournament with a top-10 medal in hand. It took a two-day score of 152 at Flying Horse Golf Club and a gritty effort against a number of upperclassmen to get the job done.
Orchestrating a milestone moment for a program that desperately needed one was a surprisingly auspicious way for Chesler to cap a state tournament debut. But now the stakes have been raised for the Frederick golf team and the Warriors will be looking to Chesler to lead the way as they look to one-up last year’s breakthrough campaign.
“Obviously, it’s going to be tough to do better at state because there’s not a lot of room for improvement when you’re in the top seven,” Chesler said. “But at the same time, I felt like I could easily have shot a better score last year. My short game has improved quite a bit because that’s really all I worked on over the summer. Hopefully, that should carry over nicely into the fall.”
The Warriors opened the 2019 prep season on Thursday, and many of them appear poised to show off some new skills they developed while playing numerous Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado events this summer. Chesler even went to Scotland for nine days at the end of the summer, playing every day at historic courses including St. Andrews Links.
After Chesler, the Warriors have a strong group of golfers they believe could be capable of qualifying for the team competition at this year’s state tournament after finishing five strokes short of being regional runners-up and qualifying a three-man team in 2018. Senior Nick Formby qualified for state in 2017 and senior Colton Gabbard qualified last season.
“Everybody is coming back and we did pretty well last year,” Chesler said. “I think it’ll only be better this year because everybody on varsity has improved. I think we should have a great season.”
The Warriors are also set to host a regional tournament at Coyote Creek in late September, giving them another potential leg up on Frederick squads of years past.
With all the Warriors seem to have going for them this fall, second-year head coach Chris DeSantis has plenty of reason to be optimistic. As an alumnus of Frederick High and a former Warriors golfer, he also has reason to be hopeful this year’s group can restore his cherished program’s reputation.
“We’re in a position that we haven’t been in for close to 13 or 14 years, which was back when I played on the high school golf team,” DeSantis said. “We have a state medalist and state qualifiers in Colton and Nick, and a handful of guys who can really play golf. Tryouts are a lot tighter with five or six guys competing for the last few varsity spots, which is a good problem to have.
“And with us hosting regionals this year, we have a good chance to show everyone what Frederick golf is really all about.”
Cream of the crop: 2018 BoCoPreps.com All-region team
First Team (Name, 2018-19 class, school )
Jake Chesler, Fr., Frederick; Walker Franklin, Jr., Prospect Ridge; Ryder Heuston, Jr., Fairview; Billy Howenstein, Sr., Dawson School; Kellen Kudrna, Sr., Mead; Davis Long, Jr., Peak to Peak; Jacob Mason, Jr., Holy Family; TJ Shehee, Sr., Mead.
Grant Alqatami, Jr., Boulder; Matt Ammon, Sr., Legacy; Cormac Arroyo, Sr., Legacy; David Brett, Sr., Silver Creek; Will Chadwick, Jr., Fairview; Andrew Elliott, Sr., Niwot; Nick Formby, Jr., Frederick; Colton Gabbard, Jr., Frederick; Adam Gannon, So., Longmont; Jackson Grace, So., Holy Family; Garrett Green, Jr., Holy Family; Grant Hoos, Sr., Legacy; Tucker Heroux, Sr., Dawson; Jack Hoover, Jr., Niwot; Ryan Jenson, Jr., Broomfield; Ben McCormick, Sr., Legacy; Alex Mumm, Sr., Holy Family; Grant Myers, Sr., Monarch; Jaden Park, So., Boulder; Brett Reamon, Jr., Fairview; Suchit Sharma, Jr., Peak to Peak; Garrett Stansel, Jr., Silver Creek; Nick Vaver, Sr., Centaurus; Thomas Volpe, Sr., Monarch; Noah Vrencur, Sr., Fairview.
Point me to the postseason
Teams and individuals qualify for the state tournaments based on single-round regional play at various sites around the state, to be completed by Sept. 17. The state tournament dates and sites for 2019 are as follows:
Class 5A state tournament – Oct. 7-8 at Pinehurst Country Club
Class 4A state tournament – Oct. 7-8 at Bridges Country Club
Class 3A state tournament – Oct. 7-8 at Eisenhower Golf Club – Blue