Sports

Enumclaw golf: Hornet golfers eye state crowns

Don’t ask Enumclaw High coach Bob Kilmer about his Hornets defending their Class 3A state girls golf title. Not to mention, the boys team bringing home a crown to go with the one Enumclaw won in 1982.

“I don’t think you’re ever trying to defend anything,” Kilmer said. “We’re trying to win something else. This is a new year with a new group. We’re trying to win it again. We’re really trying to perform at our best.”

It’s all about offense, he said, honing the skills that brought them into the tournament, working on the mental preparation to play two-days, 36 holes, of golf on an unfamiliar course with players from other leagues, building the mind set to win.

“It’s important to have the desire to win it, and these kids have it,” Kilmer said.

Both Enumclaw High’s girls and boys teams teed off today, Wednesday, in Richland, Wash. The girls were scheduled to play the desert dunes of Horns Rapid Golf Course. The boys were hitting the greens of the Meadow Springs Country Club. Play continues Thursday.

Making the trip for the Lady Hornets are senior Mara Koplitz, and juniors Torey Schreiner and Kaylee Salsbury and sophomore Kelly Sweeney.

Koplitz, who was sixth at state in 2008, was on the Hornets runner-up team in 2007 and the championship team last spring. In the fall, Koplitz was named the South Puget Sound Leauge 3A Player of the Year. Schreiner was also on the state championship team.

Winning back-to-back golf titles is not easy. Since the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) deemed girls golf a sport in 1989, Bellingham, Burlington Edison and Monroe have done it. Bellingham won five straight between 2002-2006.

Freshman Tyler Salsbury and juniors Jordan Beals and Jake Erickson have the potential to bring Enumclaw High its first boys state golf title since 1982.

“They have as good a shot as any team in the state of Washington to win a state championship. I firmly believe that,” Kilmer said.

Meadow Springs Country Club is one of the state’s top-rated courses, serving as a PGA tour site for 11 years.

The Hornets are loaded with talent.

For the second straight season, Beals, a junior, was named the SPSL 3A Player of the Year. He finished 11th at the 2008 state golf tournament.

Erickson, also a junior, earned his way into the state tournament May 18 at the West Central/Southwest District tournament at Eagles Pride Golf Course.

Salsbury may be a freshman for the Hornets, but he’s been golfing for years and recently won the Northwest Junior Golf Tour’s Peninsula Junior Open ninth- and 10th-grade division.

Reach Brenda Sexton at bsexton@courierherald.com or 360-802-8206.

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