By the time Cats head golf coach Chase Plumb boarded the bus ride back from Wheatland, he’d been studying his team’s results up and down.
His Cats came in third place overall at the Wheatland Invitational, a satisfactory result given it was the team’s first outing of the year. Plumb scanned the list of names, trying to find which of his players finished with the best – or lowest – scores.
To little surprise, Plumb found the names of both Hunter Setter and Caidyn Spilski – two of the Cats’ most experienced golfers – at the top for Douglas, tied for 4th overall. Both scored 178 over two rounds.
But the name he found next on the list caught him by surprise. It was Levi Curtis, Douglas’ lone JV member who’d made the cut to participate in the tournament as the Cats’ sixth and final member.
Curtis scored a 180 at the tournament, finishing with the 7th-best overall score among over 40 participants.
“He was our big surprise,” Plumb said on the bus ride back from Wheatland. We weren’t sure they were going to even let us bring him into the tournament, but he had an impressive showing. Really a positive surprise for us.”
Rounding out the tournament for the Cats were Christian Johnson (184), Blaine Johnson (185), and Jaxon Moore (199). Douglas placed 3rd in the overall team competition.
“We did about as well as I expected,” Plumb said. “We’ve got a handful of boys that are all very competitive. Some of them are fairly new to the game, maybe in their second or third years playing competitive golf. But they’re starting to challenge and push each other. And that’s good for the team.
Plumb added that as the season progresses, the similarities in talent and experience will likely lead to intense practices leading up to tournaments.
He won’t be able to take each player to every tournament, so Plumb will keep an eye on certain traits in practice to determine who rises above the pack throughout the year.
“I’m going to be looking for the kids that show up and grind and put in the work every single day. It’s easy when you’re hitting the ball well and rolling your putts in to be a front runner. But I’m looking for the kid that, even when they don’t have their best stuff, is going to show up and not give up.
“I want that mentally tough, consistent kid. That’s going to be who finds their way into the lineup each tournament.”
As for the Douglas girls, the Lady Cats were paced by Trinity Rich who scored a 198 at the tournament – good for 4th overall amongst the ladies.
“Trinity had a really solid weekend. But that wasn’t really a big surprise. I kind of expected that from her. She’s been here before; she’s one of our most experienced golfers out of the boys and girls. I was very happy with how Trinity performed.”
Next up for the Cats is a trip to the Sheridan Invitational, a tournament that Plumb believes will be a true litmus test of the team.
“Our kids will be paired with a bunch of golfers that, in all honesty, are either as good or better than they are.
“So we’re going to see what they’re made of.”