The Basehor-Linwood golf team will head to Dodge City for Monday’s 5A state tournament.
The Bobcats qualified after finishing runner-up at regionals with a team score of 322.
Head coach Cody Ziegler said he was proud of the group qualifying. He said the team missed the state tournament last year by one stroke and that has ignited their desire to make state this year.
“(Preparation for state) has been good,” Ziegler said. “These kids are locked in. Like I said before, coming up one stroke short last year has really ignited their desire to make it back there. They’ve been locked in on the course all year and extremely positive mentally. They are optimistic and believe they are supposed to be there.”
The team has had success in the Bobcats’ first year in 5A and in the new conference. Basehor-Linwood won the inaugural United Kansas Conference meet the week prior with the team taking five of the top seven spots.
Senior golfer Kobe Sifford said the team has been working on getting mentally right in the practices after regionals.
“We’ve been practicing every day since regionals,” Sifford said. “We’ve been hitting the range. I think for all of us, it is just about getting mentally right after regionals. And getting our swings back together and being well rested for Monday.”
He said the team must keep their heads on straight in the last meet of the season and career for some like Sifford.
Ziegler said some of the other differences will come from the team traveling to a new course and staying in Dodge City.
“It’s different because we are going to go out there for two nights,” Ziegler said. “We are going to stay in a hotel and be away from home. None of these guys have played the course with it being in Dodge City. When it is regionals, you’ve played it before. You’ve seen the course and all those golfers.”
He also talked about how the pressure is different.
“Everyone tees off on the front (nine) at the state level,” he said. “You get your name called and there are a lot of people there. The pressure is different. It’s just a big event.”
Sifford said he is looking forward to all the time spent with the team.
“Im probably most excited about hanging out with the team,” Sifford said. “Getting to spend time with the team, we’ve gotten pretty close. And we get to stay at a hotel for two days so it should be fun.”
Ziegler is looking forward to the team competing.
“Just watching them enjoy the meet,” Ziegler said. “And having fun competing. The last thing you want kids to do is think too much. It’s the same game they play every time they go out. … This is not easy to get to. This is the first time that our school has been there. So they represent Basehor-Linwood at the state level for the first time. And they are paving the way for the kids behind them. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy it.”
Tee time is set for 9 a.m. at Mariah Hills Golf Course.
All six golfers for the Bobcats will begin on hole one. Landon Bever will tee off with the first group at 9 a.m. Group 3 will tee off 10 minutes later wth Brendan Smith. Sifford and Group 5 are scheduled to start at 9:20 a.m. Wyatt Powell tees off at 9:30 a.m. Austin Logsdon and Group 9 start at 9:40 a.m. and Joey Langstraat will tee off at 9:50 a.m.
Spectators traveling to Dodge City can rent carts at the course for $40 per cart. Carts are limited and will be rented on a first come, first serve basis. Rentals will begin at 7 a.m.