A team with just one senior usually hopes to build for the future.
But the Payson Longhorns aren’t waiting for next year.
Payson’s golf team entered Wednesday’s second and final home match at Chaparral Pines Golf & Country Club ranked #7 in the state as the Division 3 state tournament looms on May 10-11 at Omni Tucson National.
Senior Colton Justice and several younger golfers are enjoying a strong campaign.
Sophomore Joey Cailliau is leading the way.
He did so once again on Wednesday, battling rain and hail to fire a 39 for the nine-hole match also featuring White Mountain rivals Snowflake, Show Low and Blue Ridge.
Cailliau finished second, two shots back of medalist Isaiah Halcomb (37) of Show Low.
Snowflake produced three of the top five finishers to win the match with 171, six strokes in front of the Longhorns (177). Show Low finished third with 187 and Blue Ridge carded 208. It’s the first time this season that the Lobos managed to beat Payson.
But the Longhorns stand 8-1 in match play and are headed to the Section 1 championship and a team state tournament berth.
“We had an amazing season,” said coach Miguel Galindo. “And we will look forward to continuing this top team mentality with graduating only one senior and returning four golfers.”
Those four are sophomores Cailliau, Joseph Lamorie, Levi Stonebrink and Will Hubbard.
Lamorie (44), Stonebrink (46) and Justice (48) figured in the team scoring on Wednesday. Hubbard (61) also played but his score didn’t count in the team scoring in the play-five count-four format.
Lamorie tied for sixth, finishing eighth on tiebreakers. Stonebrink finished 10th.
Lamorie leads way
Lamorie (120) led the Longhorns to a sixth-place finish in the 27-hole High Desert Invitational in Prescott on April 23-24. The challenging tournament featured 19 teams.
Cailliau (122), Justice (127), Stonebrink (141) and Hubbard (146) also played.
Cailliau led the way as Payson won at Blue Ridge on April 20.
He won with a 35. Lamorie (37) finished fourth and Stonebrink (39) fifth. Hubbard also figured in the team scoring with 44. Justice carded 48.
Payson won with 155, followed by Snowflake (162), Blue Ridge (168), Show Low (170) and Holbrook (204).
White Mountain Inv.
Payson finished fifth among 10 teams in the White Mountain Invitational at White Mountain CC in Pinetop on April 16-17.
Stonebrink won the long drive contest. Rylee Adolph won the girls division, with Elena Jelinek finishing fifth.
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