High school golf takes center stage with three big events

Tim Martinez: High Schools

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor



I picked up my daughter from school late last week. As she got into the car, she groaned “When is this heat going to end? I miss the rain.”

Miss the rain? In the Pacific Northwest? That’s like missing the sand in the Sahara.

Oh well. To each her own, I guess.

But it was pretty toasty last week. Cross country runners at the Hudson’s Bay Run-A-Ree had to endure the heat on Friday. Want a good way to get heat exhaustion? Try running three miles all out in 90-degree temperatures.

And it couldn’t have been much fun for football players practicing and playing in the heat in full pads and helmets.

I even heard some colleagues complain about how hot it was in some of the press boxes around the county.

Hey, don’t laugh. If you don’t properly hydrate in the press box, you could easily end up with writer’s cramp.

Well, good news everyone. The temperatures should be back in the 70s by midweek, which is perfect weather to go out and watch a high school golf tournament.

Yeah, I know. High school golf is not the hottest ticket in town for spectators. But there are local events coming up where fans can see some of the best golfers in the state.

Consider this: In each of the past six seasons, Clark County has produced a high school state champion in boys golf — Hockinson’s Gaston De La Torre in Class 2A from 2006-08, Camas’ Daniel Snoey in 3A in 2009, Washougal’s Connor O’Neill in 2A in 2010 and Ridgefield’s Brett Johnson in 1A last spring.

And each of those golfers played in the Thunder Invitational. So will this year’s field include a 2012 state champion?

Well, there is no shortage of contenders as most of Clark County’s golf programs will participate in the tournament. And this year, they won’t have to leave Clark County.

The Thunder Invitational, hosted by Mountain View, has been held at Rose City Golf Club in Portland the past few years.

But this year’s event will be held at Tri-Mountain Golf Course in Ridgefield. It will start at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

The Thunder Invitational is the first of three notable high school golf events coming up on the schedule.

On Sept. 21, the Titan Cup will be held at Camas Meadows. The Titan Cup, hosted by Union, is a four-team event in which teams play in a Ryder Cup-like format that includes match play and two-player alternate-shot matches.

On Sept. 27, most of the best players in the area will meet again for another 18-hole tournament at the Prairie Invitational at The Cedars on Salmon Creek.

There’s plenty of good golf being played out in Clark County. So get out and watch some, while the weather is still cooperative.

Other events

• League play opens Tuesday in the Class 3A and 2A Greater St. Helens Leagues in volleyball and girls soccer. League play started in those sports in the 4A GSHL and Trico League last week.

• League meets also begin in cross country on Tuesday with four-way meets being held at David Douglas Park, Heritage High School and Vancouver Lake Park.

• Week 3 of the football schedule includes the season’s first Thursday night game. Because McKenzie Stadium was overbooked this week, Union will play Westview of Beaverton, Ore., at 7 p.m. Thursday. There will be another football doubleheader at McKenzie on Friday, as well as a football doubleheader at Kiggins Bowl on Friday.

• Seven local cross country teams will participate in a new meet in Woodland. The Bruce Flanagan Invitational, named for the longtime cross county and track coach in Woodland, will be held at the Holland America Bulb Farm and is hosted by the Woodland and La Center cross country teams. Why La Center and Woodland? Well, Woodland cross country coach Melanie Holmes was a standout runner and 2002 graduate of La Center High School. Her father, Dave Holmes, is the La Center cross country coach. And Melanie Holmes ran for the Flanagan Clan track club, which was founded by Bruce Flanagan. All that symmetry comes together into an 11-team meet that will include Woodland, La Center, Hockinson, Ridgefield, Stevenson, King’s Way Christian and Seton Catholic.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538 or tim.martinez@columbian.com or like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tmartinez.Columbian. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/360TMart

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