Perfecting The Par: Cottonwood High School Boys Golf Team
Though the Cottonwood High School boy’s golf team has had a successful 2016 season, they are setting their sights on making it to the second round of the state tournament. Head coach Scott Fowler thinks that if all 16 players shoot their best, the group will have a decent chance at becoming one of state’s best teams.
By Sarah Almond | firstname.lastname@example.org
For the Cottonwood High School boys golf team, the 2016 season has been nothing short of successful. Ranked second in the region, the Colts are hoping to ride this winning wave all the way to the state tournament on October 4.
“Our boys are playing really well,” head coach Scott Fowler said. “One of our guys, Davis Amis, is leading the whole region.”
Cottonwood, who’s in 5A Region 3, faces competition from some of the most challenging schools in the state. With talented players coming out of Bingham, Copper Hills, and Taylorsville high schools, the Colts will need to continue to play at the best of their ability if they hope to be a competitive force at the state competition.
“We are battling against Bingham this year,” Fowler said. “They started out just a little too deep for us. They aren’t beating us by much, usually just one or two strokes, but they’ve got that depth that we just don’t have.”
The Colts have a much smaller team than usual, after keeping just 12 of the 15 kids that showed up for tryouts at the beginning of August. These numbers are down significantly from the 30-some kids who typically try out for the team.
“We’ve had much smaller numbers than usual,” Fowler said. “I think some of that has to do with how the population has changed at Cottonwood but mainly I just don’t think we have the same amount of kids interested as we used to.”
On top of the smaller-than-average roster, the Colts needed to fill a void left by three key seniors who graduated from the team last year.
“I’ve got three seniors again this year who are being strong leaders and we picked up some really good sophomores and really good freshmen, so I feel like we got pretty lucky,” Fowler said. “By the time they are seniors they should be able to battle pretty well.”
For Fowler, who has coached at Cottonwood High School for 25 years, the challenges presented this season are nothing the team hasn’t overcome before. And as much as he would like to take credit for building a successful golf program for the Colts, Fowler attributes much of the team’s legacy to the outstanding players that have come through the team.
“The neat thing about it is that all of these golf kids are just outstanding students,” Fowler said. “They aren’t just golfers, they are student athletes and it’s been a lot of fun being around them and being part of the program. We’ve got a lot of great kids who are just a lot of fun.”
Golf is a unique sport in the sense that the athletes aren’t playing against someone else as much as they are playing against a course and trying to get their best score. There’s a mentality that players must adopt in order to be successful that isn’t anything like other sports.
When it comes to coaching this mentality, Fowler says he doesn’t have to play a very big role thanks to the parents of his players.
“Most of these kids started playing golf when they were just young kids and were taught and encouraged by their parents at a young age. So I don’t really have to do much,” Fowler said. “If I can just organize them [the players], get them to where they need to be, and talk about the aspects of the mental game things seem to go okay for us.”
With just weeks left to prepare mentally and physically for the state tournament on Oct. 3, Fowler is confident that his team will continue to shine for the remainder of the season.
“My guys are just starting to peak at just the right time,” Fowler said. “So the state tournament is going to be a lot of fun. There’s going to be a lot of good golfers out there but I think we’ll do pretty well.”
The Colts will compete for the state title on Oct. 3 at the Soldier Hollow Golf Course located at 1370 Soldier Hollow Lane in Midway, Utah.