A total of 135 golfers representing 27 different schools set out Wednesday morning at Old Kinderhook to take their swings in the Laker Invitational.
Camdenton sent Ethan Kline, Spencer Melville, C.J. Rogers, Brody Petska and Treyvor Watson to match up with golfers across the state including one school from Kansas. After six hours of golf, Rockhurst won the event with a team score of 293 and the Lakers finished 22nd with a score of 376.
“It is experience,” Camdenton coach Shawn Maschino pointed out. “I’ve got three freshmen and two sophomores and they are gaining very valuable experience. They are getting frustrated playing very good competition, but they are going to look back on this in a couple of years and when they are shooting in the 70s and low 80s getting some medals, they will look back on this as a great learning experience.”
Ethan Kline put together the best round for Camdenton taking 51st with a score of 83. Spencer Melville and C.J. Rogers shot a 95, Brody Petska put together a round of 104 and Treyvor Watson finished up his day at 112.
Maschino said his golfers have not spent much time at Old Kinderhook this season, opting to play at Lake Valley because the course is very similar to Pine Valley in Fort Leonard Wood where the Lakers will take on district play. The day may not have gone as well as the Lakers hoped for, but Maschino noted that there is plenty of golf left to be played in each of their young careers.
“Even if it is your home course, it is still a tough course and you can get in trouble pretty quick,” Maschino said. “I think when they get out there in competition, they just have to learn to control their emotions and block everything out. They are young and they are going to improve and have been doing a good job of that. We took a little step backwards, but we’ll get past this and keep moving on.”
Another key moving forward will be staying positive. Maschino noted that after Kline’s rough start over the first four holes, the young freshman played even over one over par during the remaining 11 to 12 holes.
“A lot of my guys don’t start off real good all the time. They are just erratic right now and once they start getting comfortable with competition and get used to tournament play at the high school level, then we are going to start seeing their scores get better,” Maschino remarked. “It is confidence. They need confidence and they are going to get it the more experience they get.”
Maschino also took some time to thank everyone who made this annual tournament possible that features some of the top golfers in the state.
“I must give thanks to our volunteers and staff at Old Kinderhook who shuttled the athletes around the course,” he said. “I also want to thank Mike Blair at Sonic for providing food to over 180 individuals. Running a tournament of this size requires the combined effort of many people and ‘Laker Nation’ appreciates all who contributed today.”
Up next for Camdenton is the Helias Tournament on Monday.