The Grand Island Senior High boys golf team didn’t have a bad outing during its first 18-hole tournament of the season.
The Islanders finished tied for second place during their home meet.
The Islanders used two medalists to help them tie Omaha Creighton Prep with a 319, just one stroke behind Omaha Westside Wednesday at Riverside Golf Club.
Marcus Holling led Grand Island with a second-place finish with a 74, while Henry Kosmicki took seventh with a 76.
All that pleased Islander coach Jamie Kuebler, especially competing against a very strong wind most of the day.
“That’s exciting and I think we have nowhere to go but up,” he said. “I was excited to see them grinding today. It wasn’t perfect conditions today but to come out still hungry and find out they were very competitive today makes me very optimistic.”
Holling finished two shots behind individual champion Cole Fedderson of Kearney. He started his day strong with a birdie on the par 5 hole No. 1. He felt that gave him some confidence for the rest of the day, even though the wind was a factor.
“That helped me roll through my round. And I thought I hit the ball very well today,” Holling said. “It was definitely big being in the wind today as that brought the scores up a little bit but I thought the players who tried to keep their scores down really had to make their way around the course through the rounds. That was a big component today being in the wind. It really wasn’t overly bad but it was still there.”
Jared Leheckha came in with an 83, while Ayden Kenkel shot an 86 and Harrison Wooden carded a 90.
“I’m proud of what Marcus and Henry did today. They had great rounds. Marcus has shown this ability for a couple of years now,” Kuebler said. “Henry, along with everyone else on the team, has put in a lot of time because they are hungry and want to do well together. They set a goal at the beginning of the year to get out of districts and see how high we can go at state. This is a great first step.”
But before the medal presentation, the Islanders thought they were going to be in a playoff for the team title with the Junior Jays. A few minutes later, it was discovered that Westside took the title.
Despite that, Kuebler said he feels that’s only going to add fuel to the fire after coming up short for that opportunity of playing for a title, especially at their home invite.
“The kids were excited when they thought they going to go to a playoff, but when we found out we weren’t and missed it by one stroke, the kids started to reflect back on their round to say what they could have done different to gain that one or two strokes more. I think is going to help them build on that hunger to get better,” he said.
Holling said he feels the Islanders getting second at their home meet should give them confidence.
“This is just great for our team because we haven’t really done much over the past few years,” he said. “This really helps, especially since a lot of people didn’t play their best today. And it’s great to do all this on our home course.”
The Islanders compete at the Kearney Invite on April 9 at Meadowlark Hills Golf Course.