The Isfeld Ice posted their best-ever finish at the B.C. high school golf championships, taking third place at the 2013 provincial tourney, held May 27-29 at Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community.
“The Isfeld Athletic Department and the entire school is proud of the bronze-medal finish,” said Isfeld athletic director and B.C. tournament chair Colin Cunningham, noting it was the top finish at a team provincials for Isfeld besides girls snowboarding.
Twnety-two teams from all over the province descended on Crown Isle for the 41st annual AAA high school tournament. For the first time in tournament history, teams were able to show up and golf, compete in the skills competition, stay at the resort and attend the banquet, all without leaving the golf course.
“All teams were raving about the quality of the golf course and the organization of the tournament and the service of all staff,” Cunningham said. “Coaches were overheard planning their summer vacations to come and stay in the beautiful Comox Valley and Crown Isle resort.”
The tournament started with a rainy practice round on Monday afternoon. Immediately following was a skills competition where every player on the team of five competed in a different skill. Isfeld players did very well with Nick Crookall finishing third in the Sand Shot, Tyson Slater finished second in the 20 Yard Chipping, and team captain Logan Yanick won the 150 KP competition. Grade 12 Ryan Snook did very well in the Long Drive as did Matt Irvine in the Putting Competition. Immediately following the skills competition, all players and coaches took part in a banquet put on by the staff at Crown Isle.
“The tiering for high school golf includes the number of students (male and female) in Grades 11 and 12 combined, which puts Isfeld in the AAA category, pitting the Ice as the smallest school at the tournament, competing against the largest schools in the province,” Cunningham noted.
The competition began in earnest on Tuesday as players teed off all day. The teams that went off in the morning battled cold rain and the teams that teed off in the afternoon, including Isfeld, battled strong winds that wreaked havoc in many ways. After Day 1 Isfeld found themselves in first place.
“All team members played well, the top four scores are counted out of five, combining for a score of 310,” Cunningham said. “However, five other teams were within 10 strokes (only two strokes per player) and to have teams play that well on a course they are unfamiliar with in challenging conditions was no easy task,” Cunningham said.
After a team meeting and dinner on Tuesday night, the Ice knew they would need to play their best on Wednesday. The previous two times Isfeld has made the golf provincials, the team that led after Day 1 succumbed to the pressure and dropped out of the top five by the time the dust settled.
Wednesday brought more wind and rain for the 8 a.m. shotgun and players were again facing challenging conditions. The Ice were up for the challenge! Determined to grind out every shot and not give up until the final putt was holed out, every player did their part and waited for the results to be tallied.
In the end, the Ice shot 312 for Wednesday’s round for a two-day total of 622…they knew it was going to be close…when the dust settled, St. George’s from Vancouver shot an amazing 301 for a two-round total of 615 and Walnut Grove from Langley shot 308, narrowly edging the Ice out by two strokes at 622.
The Ice will be looking strong next year as well with all players returning except Grade 12 Ryan Snook who will be missed. Isfeld involved over 20 athletes in their golf program this year, so the future is looking bright, Cunningham noted.
“Thanks to the BCSGA Executive Committee for running such an efficient, comprehensive tournament,” Cunningham said. “Thank you to Rod Prieto and the Pro Shop staff (especially Evan Webber) for being so receptive to over 100 junior golfers on their course for three days.
“Thank you to Bert Jaegaer, for the support of our golf program over the years and Robert Ratcliffe for working so hard with four of our top five players every day to improve their golf skills. Thank you to Ron Waugh and the accommodations at Crown Isle and to the banquet staff for a great dining experience, to the maintenance staff and greens crew for keeping the course in its usual fantastic shape.
“Thank you to so many community sponsors for supporting the team and the tournament and to the parents for raising sponsor support and helping out, especially Dave and Dawna Yanick and Jerry and Rhonda Snook. Thank you to the rules officials for volunteering their time, especially Lynn Benedictson.
“Finally, thank you to all of the community volunteers who helped out with the Skills Competition (Bill Village, Dave Brooker, Robin Houlgrave, Patti Creamer, Judy Berkley, Bill Green and co-coach Tom Elwood). The tournament was a huge success and could not have happened with out the community that we live in.
“Thanks to all involved for making the tournament such a huge success and congratulations again to the Ice for an amazing season,” Cunningham said.
– Isfeld Ice Athletics