By Don Eskins
The Nixa Eagles are this year’s Class 4 District 6 golf champions. The Eagles gathered up the 2017 district title in fashion, at the Bill and Payne Stewart Golf Course Monday afternoon, firing a low team score of 328, sixteen strokes better than the runnerup Kickapoo Chiefs who carded a 344. The win made it back-to-back championships for the birds.
Nixa placed three linksters, in the top four spots, and another in the eighth in coasting to the 2017 C4D6 championship. Eagle coach Jeff Lotz liked the way his team hung together, in some trying weather, to get the victory.
“I knew today’s tournament could be a real battle,” said Lotz. “I told our kids that the tournament championship could come down to the team that was the mentally toughest, could handle the inclement weather conditions, not blow up and be patient. That’s exactly what they did. Most all played well and I’m very proud of all their efforts today to grab another district title.”
The Eagles were lead by seniors Seth Kovak and William Faulk who both fired rounds of 80 to finish tied for second place. Jaycen Clark placed fourth with a round of 82 and finishing eighth was Gavin Farrar with an 86.
“Today’s victory was a really special one for us,” Kovak said. “We’re all seniors, and after winning the title last year, we had a lot to prove. We all wanted to go out as repeat champions.”
Kickapoo’s Logan Smith took home top individual medalist honors in the Chiefs second place finish. Smith, a junior, recorded a 38 on the front side and a 40 on the back for an eighteen hole total of 78.
“I’ve had a lot of second place finishes this year. So it was nice to be able to pick up a win today in the district tournament,” said Smith. “It was really rough out on the course today. You just had to keep fighting on every shot. I tried to hit a lot of greens and then two putt.”
Head coach Rodney Yocum said that Smith has been a cornerstone in this year’s Chief success.
“Logan is a returning All-Stater so we’ve expected big things from him this year,” Yocum said. “He’s our team leader and he gets everybody ready to play. He’s worked very hard this year, it’s great to see him walk away from today’s tournament with top individual honors.”
Yocum was also excited about another one of his charges.
“We’re pretty competitive in the two through eight spots on our team,” the Chief coach said. “Each week we seem to always have somebody step up big for us. Today it was Weston Overturf, who finished in a tie for eighth. It’s only his second year of golf and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Along with Smith’s 78, on the Kickapoo scorecard, were Overturf- 86, Brennan Lesly- 89 and Jacob Hendricks-91.
Up next for Nixa, Kickapoo and a host of individual qualifiers is the sectional meet. A meet that will offer C4D6 competitors more than a reasonable challenge.
“Glendale and Jefferson City will be there and they play some of the best high school golf in the state,” said Eagle coach Lotz. “The field will be plenty tough. No doubt about it, if we want to advance on to state we’re going to have to play our best golf.”
Qualifying for sectionals individually were all sixteen All-District finishers plus Andrew Vaughn- Belton, Grant Trent- Carthage, Corey Pepper- Kickapoo, Brennan Lesly- Kickapoo, Jacob Hendricks-Kickapoo, Dusty Middleton- Nixa, Matt Greble- Ray-Pac, Kendall Hamilton- Republic and Grant Holmes- Republic.
No. School Score
1 Nixa 328
2 Kickapoo 344
3 Republic 348
4 Carthage 362
5 Ray-Pec 363
6 Joplin 373
7 Willard 381
8 Neosho 445
9 Belton 448
10 Parkview 451
No. Name Score School
1 Logan Smith 78 Kickapoo
2 Seth Kovak 80 Nixa
2 William Faulk 80 Nixa
4 Jaycen Clark 82 Nixa
5 Mitchell Coiner 84 Republic
6 Austin Melton 85 Republic
6 Greg Mitchals 85 Willard
8 Weston Overturf 86 Kickapoo
8 Gavin Farrar 86 Nixa
8 Cory Barton 86 Ray-Pec
8 Kolby Hosp 86 Republic
12 Austin Musche 87 Carthage
12 Alex Ramirez 87 Joplin
14 Robrt Sager 88 Carthage
14 Jack Brown 88 Ray-Pec
14 Brayden Swearengin 88 Willard