Clovis High girls golfers, from left, Brooke Switzer, Tiffany Reid and Amanda Estes work on their driving on Friday at Municipal Golf Course. Both CHS teams are in Albuquerque for Class 5A state tourneys Monday and Tuesday.
By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
Clovis High’s golf teams know their work is cut out in the Class 5A state tournament on Monday and Tuesday at UNM South golf course in Albuquerque. They just hope to do their best.
Clovis teams played the course earlier this year in a triangular hosted by Hobbs and also including Rio Rancho.
The CHS boys qualified for state by winning the District 4-5A tournament on Monday at Chaparral Country Club. The girls were third in the district meet, but had already qualified during the regular season.
“We’re not expected to go out there and win it,” said senior Amanda Estes, who led the girls on Monday with a round of 84. “But I know we’ve all improved a bunch this year.”
Estes and senior Tiffany Reid are making their third trips to state. They and senior Marissa Lansford were on last year’s team which qualified for state.
Estes shot 48 through nine holes on Monday, but after getting a message to “just relax” from coach Cristy Hill she played her second nine in even-par 36.
“I just need to relax when I get to state,” Estes said. “My goal is to be in the top 10.
“It’s good that we’ve played (UNM South) already. I feel that we’re going to perform well.”
Other members of the Lady Cats’ squad include sophomore Brooke Switzer and freshman Danielle Valdez.
“We always compete,” Hill said. “The girls have been consistent throughout the year, and I feel like they’re playing to their potential.
“There’s no pressure on us. You just want to go out and perform the best you can.”
While the girls tournament includes nine teams, only six boys squads qualified for the event.
“Hopefully, we can beat out at least three of those teams (to earn a trophy),” CHS senior Brad Props said. “We’re such a big underdog that there’s not a lot of pressure on our shoulders.”
The Cats were locked in a competitive district battle with Hobbs and Carlsbad most of the spring, but came out on top Monday with only the winner qualifying for state. Sophomore Tyler Fontenot shot even-par 72 and won a playoff for individual honors with Hobbs’ Tate Tinley, while Props came in at 79.
Rounding out the boys team are senior Ben Blair, freshman Kyler Brewer and eighth-grader Kyle Wornell.
Props said he had “three bad holes” in the earlier trip to UNM South en route to a 94. “That pretty much kills you,” he said.
“You have to know where to hit it there,” he said of the course. “The greens are big, and you have to hit it in the right spots on the green or you’re looking at a 3-putt.”
First-year boys coach Cal Fullerton said his team has seen only a couple of the teams who will be there.
“We know it’s going to be tough,” Fullerton said. “We’ve seen Rio Rancho before, and I’ve heard how good La Cueva and Sandia are.”
He said the Cats just have to take care of themselves and not worry about others.
“You can’t win it on the first day, but you can lose it on the first day,” he said. “Our goal from the beginning (of the season) was to win district and get to the state tournament. Now that we’re there, we want to just see how well we can do.”