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Spanish Springs golfers win at Sierra Sage, Reed third
by Dan Eckles
Apr 16, 2013 | 2902 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs sophomore golfer Owen Bartlett chips up toward the green on the 18th hole at Sierra Sage Golf Course Tuesday afternoon.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs sophomore golfer Owen Bartlett chips up toward the green on the 18th hole at Sierra Sage Golf Course Tuesday afternoon.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed's Garrett Marchese hits a shot out of a bunker near the 18th green during play at Tuesday's HDL golf tournament hosted at Sierra Sage Golf Course in north Reno..
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed's Garrett Marchese hits a shot out of a bunker near the 18th green during play at Tuesday's HDL golf tournament hosted at Sierra Sage Golf Course in north Reno..
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RENO -- Mother Nature may not have smiled on the High Desert League's golfers Tuesday but that didn't stop the Spanish Springs boys team from leaving Sierra Sage Golf Course sporting nothing but smiles.

The Cougars played through merciless gusting winds and biting cold snowfall Tuesday to post a team total of 430. That mark was good enough to best league rival Reno by five strokes and capture the tournament's team title.

Reno, which had won the first three HDL tournaments while Spanish Springs finished second, did have the low individual score on the day. That was the 79 of Patrick Phelps.

However, the rest of the Huskies' scoring contingent did not go low enough to help Reno top Spanish Springs for a fourth time. The Cougars saw all five scoring players turn in rounds of 87 or better.

"It was the most interesting day of golf I've ever been a part of," Cougars coach Nick Wirshing said. "It was super windy in the beginning. After three and a half hours in, it really started to snow and it was sticking. It was not ideal conditions to say the least. It was pretty crazy.

"It felt really good to beat Reno. The guys were super excited. It felt good to get the win. The 430 doesn't look great, but under those conditions, it's as good as can be expected. To get our first victory, it feels good. It feels like all our hard work is paying off."

Tommy McAlister and Cole Shirley led the way for Spanish Springs carding rounds of 85. Matt Perera was next with an 86, while Anthony Decker and Tyler Clemens followed with 87s. The SSHS team did not count the 90 of Owen Bartlett.

"I'm really happy with our scores," Wirshing said. "We didn't have any one guy go real low, but our whole team did pretty well and that was good enough to get it done in those conditions. All the guys were in the mid 80s. We had a couple eights and nines on the scorecards during that really heavy snow and still came out with decent scores. We were playing well."

Spanish Springs was not the only Sparks-area school to take everything Mother Nature threw at it only to persevere. Reed finished with a 460 Tuesday, just six shots off its season best.

"We had breakfast together and I knew it would be tough," Reed coach Nick Nemsgern said. "I talked to the kids and said 'I don't care about one score. If we can clear a mental hurdle here and grow, in terms of keeping it together under five hours of golf's toughest conditions, that will help us.' ... The last thing I ask each kid at breakfast every time is 'what number are we shooting for? What's our personal goal and how do we achieve it?' I just didn't bring that up today."

Reed's scoring contingent was paced by junior Trevor Wood, who posted a score of 81. That score was good for second best in the field behind the 79 of Phelps. Wyatt Koskie was next up for Reed, finishing with an 88 and tying a personal best. Reed also counted 95s by Will Rizzuto and Travis Page. Garrett Marchese's 100 wrapped up the RHS team total. The Raiders threw out the 109 of first-time varsity competitor Noah Vesely.

"The conditions were ridiculous," Nemsgern said. "The first 45 minutes the wind was probably blowing 40 miles per hour. Then that calmed down to maybe 20 the rest of the day but we had snow flurries the last two hours. The boys putted on snow. Those were the worst conditions I've ever seen the boys play in. So I'm proud of them."

Reed, Spanish Springs and their HDL rivals will be in action again April 23 at Reno's Washoe Golf Course. That league tournament will get going with tee times starting at 11:30 a.m.

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