Dodger boys open golf season by hosting new IAC Northern Division invite
The Fort Dodge boys golf squad wasn’t satisfied with their performance at Tuesday’s season-opening Iowa Alliance Conference Northern Division meet.
First-year head coach Nick Vinson found the Dodgers’ frustration to be just the reaction he was looking for from a debut performance.
FDSH is tied for fourth place in the team standings after 18 holes of the two-round meet, which concludes on Sept. 27 in Marshalltown.
“Every single kid was kind of beating themselves up over their score when we talked afterward,” Vinson said. “I told them they had nothing to hang their head about. This is a starting point. Nothing more. But it’s good to see how much they care and how competitive they are about their score. It means they want to get better, and I’m confident they’ll be ready to put in the work to be just that by next month.”
Senior Riley Travis shook off a slow start and carded a 42-41–83 at the Fort Dodge Country Club to place eighth for the Dodgers. Travis double bogeyed his first two holes — Nos. 5 and 6 — before settling in and playing the next six holes at one-under par.
“Riley played well overall,” Vinson said. “I think he’ll tell you differently, because he has high hopes for himself. He’s better than the score he posted, and he’ll be the first to tell you that. He’s in the Top-10 despite not being at all happy with what he did, so that’s actually a good sign.”
Carson Werning (47-48–95), Nathan Beekman (46-51–97) and Evan Pratt (46-53–99) rounded out the counting scores.
“I think all of our players would tell you they had quite a few strokes or holes they’d like to fix,” Vinson said. “We saw some good things and some areas we obviously need to work. The goal is to just get better every day and build consistency.
“So much of this sport is mental. We have seven kids who had never played a competitive (high school round) before out of 12 (between varsity and JV). We only have one back who was a varsity regular a year ago start to finish. This will take some time and patience, both from me and the kids. It’s not the result we wanted, but not the end of the world, either.”
Bowen Flemming of Ames fired a meet-best 77. Cael Sandvick of Marshalltown (78), Michael Solberg of Mason City (79) were next in line, followed by Bobcat Ty Faltys (80), Drew DeGabrielle of Mason City (81) and Little Cyclone teammates Elliott Stenberg (82) and Jackson Kepley (82).
Marshalltown (329) edged Ames (331) in the team race.
Gavin Bacon (45-49–94) had the top Dodger JV round.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Vinson said. “It’s good to get going and have a competitive round to go by. The scores were a little high across the board from all teams, but that can be expected with some first-meet jitters.”
Fort Dodge returns to action on Monday at the Mason City Invitational.