Olpe’s golf team accomplished something Tuesday no other boys’ athletic team had done before in school history – win a state championship.
The Eagles eked out a 2A state title Tuesday afternoon at the Fort Hays State Municipal Course with a score of 318, which is in the range coach Kim Pargman said he anticipated would win entering Tuesday morning.
“We were thinking 318-322 would probably win it. Sure enough that’s what it was,” Pargman said. “That’s what we talked about this morning going to the golf tournament were those scores right there, and that’s just what we shot.”
The Eagles’ top-four golfers all placed in the top-30 to cumulate their title-winning score, which bested Sterling by two strokes and defending 1A state champion Trego by four strokes.
Leading up to the tight Eagles’ win was a heavy dose of scoreboard watching and what-ifs.
“We were watching the scoreboard pretty darn close, I’ll tell you that,” Pargman said. “It was going back and forth and back and forth, and ‘well if this kid comes in (here) or if this kid comes in (here) we’re going to get second.’
“It was pretty touch-and-go for quite a while…it was a scoreboard watch.”
Once all results were in, though, the Eagles couldn’t hide their excitement.
“You could tell on the kids’ faces when they came running over that they knew. You see their faces and it makes it all worthwhile,” said Pargman, who added that the boys were well aware of winning Olpe’s first boys’ state title.
“It’s kind of a relief, you know, to get that off our shoulders. It’s pretty exciting,” Pargman said. “That was the first thing they commented on was ‘it’s about time our boys won one and it just happened to be in golf.’”
Last year, Olpe finished second in the 1A state golf tournament. The year before the Eagles finished eighth in the 2A state tournament.
This time, sophomore Grant Pimple led the Eagles with a ninth-place finish after shooting a six-over 77. Chase Coble, a senior who placed third at last year’s 1A tournament, matched Pimple’s 77, along with five other golfers but fell to 13th because of tiebreakers.
Pimple carded a 40 on the front nine and a 37 on the back, while Coble did the reverse.
“Chase, these kids without him…he’s just that kind of golfer where he didn’t have the best of days but he keeps fighting and keeps fighting,” Pargman said, “and it wears off on the rest of the kids.
“Grant being a sophomore, he just kept getting better and better as the year went.”
Stacked together to round out the Eagles’ scoring were juniors Colin Arndt and Wyatt Redeker, both shooting 11-over 82s to finish 26th and 27th, respectively.
Outside of the Eagles’ top-four golfers were senior Kayleb Allen and sophomore Cameron Steffes. Allen recovered from a rough front-nine score of 51 to shoot a 43 on the back nine to finish 61st. Steffes shot a consistent 32-over 103, carding a 51 on the front and a 52 on the back to finish 80th.
3-2-1A Sand Greens State Tournament
Chase County’s Brett Engle posted a 78 for an eighth-place finish at Tuesday’s 3-2-1A sand greens state tournament at the Leonardville Golf Course.
Engle was the only Chase County golfer to card a score under 100.