Rangers golf earns second at state

The Kemmerer Rangers golf team traveled to Sheridan and earned second place at the 2A State Golf Meet. Pictured: Shawn Crank, Benjamin Wergin, Ty Hysell, Rayce Kindschuh and Brandon Banister. (COURTESY PHOTO / Zem Hopkins)

The Kemmerer Rangers golf team traveled to Sheridan for the 2A State Golf Championship at Sheridan’s Kendrick Golf Course.

The Rangers earned second place at the state meet with a total of 811.

Nine boys teams and four girls teams competed in the weather-delayed state event. Weather was still an issue, even with the delay. On Monday, conditions were ideal with sunshine and light winds. But Tuesday was a complete turnabout with rain, wind and cold conditions. The 63 golfers who played completed the two-day event in those tough conditions.

The Lovell team surprised the other teams by winning the championship with a total of 805. After Kemmerer’s 811 total came host Tongue River in third place at 812. Fourth place went to Moorcroft with a score of 816.

The Ranger boys were led by senior Ty Hysell and sophomore Ben Wergin, who each scored 197, tying them for seventh place at the meet and earning them both All-State honors.

Kemmerer golfers Benjamin Wergin and Ty Hysell earned All-State honors at the 2A State Golf Meet by tying for 7th place overall, helping the Rangers earn 2nd place at State. (COURTESY PHOTO / Zem Hopkins)

Next for the Rangers was junior Rayce Kindschuh at 203 for 11th place. Finishing fourth for the Rangers was Brandon Banister with a score of 216 that earned him 20th place in the meet. Next was sophomore Shawn Crank scored a 225 for 22nd place in the boys division.

“The team event was a very close contest with four teams in the hunt for the championship,” Coach Zem Hopkins said. “First-day leader Lovell was able to hold on with two players having career days. This was by far their best effort all year. Moorcroft was second, just three strokes behind Lovell. The Rangers were twelve back at 401.”

Hopkins said that the weather definitely affected all of the teams.

“The second day was a totally different tournament — host Tongue River made a charge at Lovell in the morning,” Hopkins said. “The Rangers stayed close, but did not make up any ground. The second nine, the Rangers battled back and closed the Lovell lead to just six, but did not have the scores to make up a fourteen-stroke difference on the last nine.”

Coach Hopkins said the Rangers earned the runner-up title despite a rough performance.   

“The boys fought hard both days without a practice round and just a walk-around for their course introduction,” Hopkins said. “But the boys had their worst tournament of the year by far. We played very poorly as a team compared to what we have been shooting the past four weeks.”

Hopkins praised the Ranger boys for fighting hard throughout the tournament.

“The first day hero was Shawn Crank with a very fine 107 to help the team scoring. The team was paced by Ty and Ben,” Hopkins said. “Rayce struggled both days by his standards, although he still finished eleventh in the event. Brandon Banister just kept grinding out for both days and finished Tuesday’s back nine with a great score to help the team earn second place.”

Hopkins said the team would have liked a championship, but they worked hard regardless.

“They just did not give up and continued to grind out the numbers they needed for second,” Hopkins said. “We were just too far behind Lovell to catch up. We were disappointed with the results, but I was proud of their “no quit” effort. Ty and Ben earning All-State is great. It was a total effort by these boys.”

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