The Wildhorse 2A Invitational in Pendleton, was where the Enterprise High School boys golf team stampeded to first place April 16.
Nathan Slinker, Derek Huff, Jake Thompson, Cole Phinney and Andrew Kelley shot a combined 345, beating out nearest competitor Echo at 350. Third, City Christian, was five back at 355. Umatilla, Heppner, Warrenton, Neah Kah Nie, Kennedy, Imbler, Wallowa and Prairie City made up the rest of the field, with a total of 46 golfers competing.
The top rated player at the event was Echo's Jason Sperr with a 77, followed by Jake Thompson of Enterprise at 79 and Neah Kah Nie's Dusty Stone at 81.
EHS coach Mike Crawford was pleased with the win and the chance to see other teams from around the region, but didn't feel his team shot the scores they were capable of, though Jake Thompson was an obvious exception, who for the first time shot in the thirties (a 37) coming in and managing to dip into the seventies (79) for the round.
"Winning is awesome but in order to do what we want to do later, we have to play a little better than that," said Crawford. As defending State champs, with three of five players returning - Slinker, Huff and Thompson - Crawford's expectations are a little higher than average.
Why the problems? It might partly be difficulty in adjusting to courses, said Crawford, who went on to point out that the team shot a 317 at Union, and then followed with a 345 at Wildhorse, a difference of 28 strokes, almost 6 additional strokes per player.
"All my guys have had a good day," noted Crawford. "They just haven't all had the good day on the same day."
The Enterprise boys will be playing April 23 at the La Grande Invitational at 1 p.m., while the girls team will attend the Union Invitational at the same date and time.
Wildhorse Course Breakdown and Scores
Course par: Out 36, In 36, Total 72.
Nathan Slinker: Out 44, in 48, total 92. Birdie on 8. Par on 9, 13 &15. Derek Huff: Out 42, In 43, total 85. Birdie on 8. Par on 1,4, 5, 13, 14, 15 &17. Jake Thompson: Out 42, In 37, total 79. Birdie on 11. Par on 1, 3, 4, 9 & 13-18. Cole Phinney: Out 43, In 46, total 89. Birdie on 17. Par on 2, 5, 6, 16 & 18. Andrew Kelley: Out 47, In 56, total 103. Par on 5, 8 & 18.