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Valley’s Region reign slips slightly heading toward State

The Buffalos recently traipsed onto the greens of the Cove View Golf Course in Richfield for the Region 20 Tournament under brisk, clear 9 a.m. skies. Although the Boys beat the Wayne Badgers in that match-up by a four-stroke margin, 355-359, they, via the averaged calculations of 40 percent from five previous tournaments and 60 percent that day, fell behind Wayne’s first place leadership by the Final Result tabulated score of 348.6 to Valley’s 348.6: a dismal difference of .3!

Left to right, photos by Jerry Melrose:

  • Valley members of the 1A Region 20 Tournament’s Top 10 Medalists. They are (left-to-right): #3 Kaylee Brinkerhoff, #10 Julia Hoyt, #2 Rachel Cox, #9 Keenan Chamberlain and #3 Ivan Spencer.

  • Members of the elite Top 10 Individual players for the 2024 Region 20 season along with their coaches. They are (left-to-right): Ty Housley, #3 Kaylee Brinkerhoff, #2 Rachel Cox, #10 Julia Hoyt and Jeremy Chamberlain.

  • The Buffalos stalwart season-long 1A Region 20 campaign Top 10 Individual winners with coaches. Here are (left-to-right): Ty Housley, #3 Ivan Spencer, #9 Keenan Chamberlain and Jeremy Chamberlain.

“Super-close!” commented Coach Jeremy afterwards, “I think it’s probably been eight, nine or 10 years since another team has taken the Championship at a Region Tournament, which is fantastic! This year, we knew coming in that it was going to be super, super tight. When it came down to it, we ended up being three strokes back. I know several of the boys had made a lot of putts they would love to get back. Keenan [Chamberlain] had one on the 18-Hole that he’d love to have back. What a fantastic tournament; the kids grinded it out. Payson Harris, our freshman, found out last night about 9:30 p.m. that he was coming today, and shot our second lowest score today. So, couldn’t be happier with the team; they did great! We ended-up a little bit short in the Region Tournament, but we’re hoping for another good playing, and maybe we do have a chance of winning the State Championship.”

With the Individual Results, Ivan Spencer won second place in the Region Tournament with 80, one stroke behind Wayne’s Miles Hinkle’s 79. And #4 Payson shot 89; #8 Johnny Cox 91; #14 Keenan, 94; #16 Waylon Spencer, 96 and #19 Boede Cox,102. Consequently, Ivan took third place behind Hinkle in the Finals, again by one: 80.1 to 79.1. Piute’s Swade Olson was in second place at 79.5. Rounding- out the Buffalos’ Overall season scores were #9 Keenan’s 88.8, #13 Johnny’s 91.3, #14 Waylon Spencer’s 92.3, #17 Payson’s 95.8 and #19 Boede’s 96.4.

Ivan perceptively summed things up, “Well, throughout the season it’s been close. We pulled together as a team and won: beat Wayne today. We gave it our best and we lost by point three in Overall. Individually I think it was within one-stroke of the Top Three, as well. You can’t go back and change it now, but those strokes add-up. One stroke can be the difference between Team winning and Individual winning. I think it relates to life pretty good. Whatever you do, just take it one thing at a time, and play as it goes.” Considering the upcoming gathering in West Bountiful on May 14 and 15, Ivan assessed the possibilities, “Now we’re going to State, and it’s shot-for-shot. It’s gonna’ be hard. We could play bad, and that’s how it ends; or we could play good. I don’t know. We haven’t been there, and we’ll see how it goes!”

For the Girls, Valley won third place at 433.6, a mere 2.1 away from first place Milford’s 431.5, with Wayne in the middle at 432.1. Individually, Rachel Cox won second place with 102 following Milford’s Tailyn Ambrose’s 96. Then, #3 Kaylee Brinkerhoff came in at 109; #10 Julia Hoyt, 118; #14 Emma Cox, 122; #15 Jane Jennings, 126 and #18 Kimber Cluff’s 132. Overall in Final Results, Rachel claimed second place with 98.7 after Milford’s Ambrose at 94.9. Kaylee was #3 with 104.3; Julia, #10 at 115.1; Emma, #14 with 119.6; Jane Jennings, #15 at 119.9; Kimber Cluff, #17 with 125.9 and Athelie Nielsen after only three tournaments was unrated at 56.7.

Rachel, with her typically straightforward clean-slate approach, surveyed their purposeful goal ahead, “As a team, we’re doing good. We only lost it after the Region Tournament by 2.1 strokes. So, we’re right where we wanna’ be! It just depends on who had a good day of golf. As far as me today, I went in with confidence, because that’s the only way you can go in, and I lost - only it’s horseshoes-and-hand grenades! I endedup second, and that’s okay. We’ll get them at State!”

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