The pristine hills of the Douglas Golf Course glowed a vibrant green in the scorching sun Friday morning as dozens of high school golfers shot from one hole to the next.
The state of the course was, in a way, reflected by the golfers on it: calm and serene in appearance, but hot and intense nonetheless.
And the Bearcats reflected this heat over the Absaraka Conference Tournament Thursday and Friday, with the boys team taking third, and the girls taking sixth.
“To be honest,” head coach Chase Plumb said, “we played a little better than I even expected. (The boys team) even gave Worland a run for its money.”
Worland narrowly beat the Bearcats for second place 677-681, while Riverton won it with 626.
Plumb praised the boys for overcoming Buffalo and Torrington, two teams the Bearcats have been battling this season.
Buffalo placed fourth with 700 and Torrington fifth with 737.
“For our boys to come out and play really good golf under pressure, I was proud of them,” Plumb said.
Sophomore Levi Curtis and Junior Christian Johnson won all-conference honors, which means they placed in the top ten at the tournament.
Curtis placed fifth with 166 throughout both days and Johnson placed eighth, scoring 169. They both beat their personal records for a two-day tournament.
On the girls side, seniors Ceara Moffatt placed 15th with 246 and Sydney Peasley placed 18th with 272.
Notably, the small girls team was missing seniors Trinity Rich and Jessica Reid, who Plumb said are battling illness and a knee injury, respectively.
However, Plumb is hopeful both will be back for the state tournament next week.
“If she goes out and plays a couple good rounds,” Plumb said of Rich, “I think she has a chance at an all-state career.”
Like the conference tournament, the top ten golfers at state will win all-state honors.
The state tournament will be Friday and Saturday in Lander.
“Riverton is definitely going to be the team to beat,” Plumb said of the boys side.
“I just want them all to end on a positive note and come out and play some golf,” Plumb said.