For the first time in history both the Randall and Canyon golf teams will compete at the UIL state golf tournament in the same year starting Monday. [Kale Steed/ Press Pass Sports]Canyon Independent School District is boasting a very successful spring campaign.
Randall wrestling made history becoming the first boys and girls teams to win the University Interscholastic League state championships in the same year in April.
Canyon’s girls track team finished second overall at the state track meet last weekend, the Canyon tennis squad will compete at state Thursday, and Randall is still alive in the baseball postseason.
Even more history will be made Monday and Tuesday when the Randall and Canyon boys golf teams compete at the UIL Class 5A and 4A state tournament for the first time in the same year.
“It’s a historic time for Canyon ISD with both teams qualifying,” Canyon ISD athletic director Toby Tucker said. “This is a true testament to our athletes, coaches and parents for staying focused through what has been a difficult year with Covid-19. We felt like both of these teams had an opportunity to qualify for state last year, and that was taken away from them with the pandemic. I’m thrilled that they have punched their ticket this year and look forward to seeing them compete for a state championship.”
The Raiders are making their first trip as a team to state for since 2009. Randall’s Jacob and Jerry Montano, Stetson and Wyatt Provence with Caden Conrad, will tee off in the 36-hole championship at the White Wing Golf Club in Georgetown starting Monday.
“I didn’t realize how big of a deal this was,” Randall golf coach Ben Gilliland said. “This was our goal all year. We’ve worked so hard to get to this point. We’ve worked harder than we’ve ever had.”
The Eagles are making their first trip to state since 2004. Canyon will tee off Monday at the Plum Creek Golf Course in Kyle.
The team of Cutter Ehmann, Eli Schmucker, Quinn Hayes, Paden Mask and Whit Powers, may be new to this experience, but coach Ricky Guy isn’t. Guy spent 2000-2012 in Memphis leading the boys team to a state title in 2003, and the girls program to their first state championship in 2007.
“There’s nothing like being at state golf,” Guy said. “Especially as a team. I love coaching this group like those teams at Memphis. This is a group that’s played together since junior high. Their families have been supportive, and do what it takes. I’m proud of these guys because they’ve put in the work to be where they are today.”
Canyon shot its best rounds of the season at the Region I-4A golf tournament at Shadow Hills on April 22 in Lubbock to finish second. The Eagles first round was extremely impressive firing a 299, followed by a 310 for a 609.
Mask led the way scoring rounds of 72-77— 155.
“Just getting this opportunity is fantastic,” said Mask, a senior. “It makes it better that three of us our seniors and getting to do this. We feel we’re playing really good right now, and we’re excited to go down and play.”
It wasn’t an easy a road for Randall. After stellar rounds in March at the District 3-5A tournament of 288-300— 588, the Raiders had to hold off Tascosa for the third and final spot at the Region I-5A tournament at the Rawls Course in Lubbock. Randall shot 320-321— 641 which was good enough for third.
“We didn’t play our best at regional but we fought through it,” Stetson Provence said. “This is our dream and we’re getting to live it. This is the chance we were hoping for throughout high school.”
Now with Randall and Canyon getting this unique opportunity both programs hope they can bring back coveted state championships.
“First thing we’re down there for is the team,” Guy said. “These guys play for each other. We have an expectation to medal, but these guys are good enough to win it. We’re playing really good right now.”
Gilliland echoed Guys comments.
“Regionals really opened our eyes,” Gilliland said. “We know what it’s going to take, and we want to win. We’re not just going down there for the trip. We’re ready.”
Texas Panhandle UIL state qualifiers
Randall: Caden Conrad, Jacob Montano, Jerry Montano, Stetson Provence, Wyatt Provence
Braden Buse, Tascosa
Canyon: Cutter Ehmann, Quinn Haynes, Paden Mask Whit Powers, Eli Schmucker
Cayden Beckner, Dalhart
Panhandle: Grayson Davis, Gauge Hackett, Wesley Jones, Logan McCoid, Levi McGill, Logan Krogh (alternate)
Vega: Cole Blasingame, Casen Brorman, Conner Brorman, Ryan Grawunder, Casen Brorman, Lane Gibson
Fort Elliott: Boone Begert, Gavin Boydston, Gatlin Goad, Gavin McDowell, Marshal Meininger
Traser Shelton, Miami