Boys' team settles in seventh place; girls done after nine holesMother Nature rarely cut Wallowa any slack.
Rough weather plagued Wallowa High School's golfers throughout this season. Going to their first tournament in late March at Echo Hills - and eager to shed their cabin fever in spite of lingering winter conditions - they had only practiced twice.
Even as late as May 12, the last day of the season, little changed. Powerful gusts and hail pounded Wildhorse Resort & Casino's course. Wallowa's boys tried to endure, but they wound up in seventh place at Class 3A-2A-1A Special District 4's two-day tournament. They totaled 933 strokes, 63 over sixth place Union.
"It was a tough season, all around," coach Marvin Gibbs admitted. "We had to deal with terrible weather and couldn't practice much."
The boys began the district meet with some promise. Wallowa's team - senior Casey King, junior Jake Schaeffer, sophomore Mitchell Swift and freshman Chris Swift - scored a 462 and ranked ahead of Imbler. King shot a team-leading 95. He parred the fourth hole, as well as the 12th and 15th. Schaeffer and Mitchell Swift were close by at 112. Swift scored par on the eighth hole and 15th, while Schaeffer took the second hole on four strokes. But Chris Swift's season-long struggles continued, as he shot 143.
The next day, however, weather turned everything around. Wind forced many shots out of bounds. Wallowa's score ballooned to a 471. King especially struggled. To complete the second round, he needed his first day's card plus another 29 shots. Schaeffer tacked on five, though he managed a par-four on the 10th hole. On the other hand, the Swifts performed admirably. Mitchell chopped nine strokes from his first-round tally for a 103. He parred the fifth hole. And Chris' second-round card dropped to 127.
Meanwhile, Wallowa's girls ended their season rather abruptly. Due to the weather, freshmen Shawna Chrisman and Katelynn Burns stopping playing the second round after nine holes. The previous day, Chrisman shot 131 while Burns posted a 172.
This season now over, Wallowa's young team will lose two seniors: King and Andrew Wilson. However, several players gained experience for future seasons.
"I just hope the kids are able to play some golf this summer," Gibbs said. "They come back next year."