CANTON — The Vermillion Tanagers boys golf team won the Region 2A Boys’ Golf Tournament Monday at Hiawatha Golf Course in Canton.
Sioux Falls Christian’s Eli Anema won the individual tournament with a 2-over score.
Vermillion and West Central swapped first place throughout the back nine, with the Tanagers taking the team win by one stroke, 323-324. Both teams qualify for the state tournament that starts next Monday in Aberdeen.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve never seen the competition this deep,” Vermillion head coach Kirk Hogan said after the tournament. (In) every invite we’ve been to, I don’t think there was one that (the difference) was more than eight strokes difference between first and second. You can talk to the kids all you want, but you’ve got to be prepared to play.
“Especially for the regional (with) that taking the nerves up another level, I couldn’t be prouder of (the team).”
Despite not having any finishers in the top three, Vermillion used a balanced team approach to win the tournament.
“(The golfers) all did their own part,” Hogan said. “That’s what we’ve done this season, which has helped us a lot. Someone usually steps up and maybe pulls up a little bit better and covers some of them that maybe have a little rougher day. It was good (to see them succeed).”
Hogan wants his team to enjoy the win and build off it next week in the state tournament.
“Right now, we’re going to enjoy this (win),” he said. “We’re going to go into (state) with the idea that we want to do the best we can playing a course we’ve never played.”
Dakota Valley and Sioux Falls Christian battled for the third-place spot in the tournament, with the Panthers prevailing in the end by one stroke as well, 330-331. The Panthers qualified for state with the third-place finish.
“We’ve got a great group of kids and they like playing golf together,” Panthers coach Rod Slater said. “They encourage each other, spend a lot of time together, and compete in a friendly and competitive way. That helps build each player’s ability to score.”
One player that was scoring well for the Panthers was freshman Matt de Beer. He is new to the area, having moved from Great Britain recently. He tied for second at the event, scoring 4-over.
“He’s played a lot of tournament golf growing up, and so he’s new to South Dakota golf having just moved here,” Slater said. “It’s all new to him. He has a very strong game. Wherever he plays he’s going to be competitive.”
Elk Point-Jefferson finished eighth in the tournament, shooting 371. Still, Huskies head coach Kelly Haberling was happy with his team’s performance.
“(The team) gained some experience from today,” he said. “They were in a spot where all the stars would have had to align for them. It didn’t work out that way but they’re going to have to learn from today. It will help our program going forward.”
EPJ’s Carter Langle was the lone player on the team to qualify for state. He finished fifth, shooting a six-over 78. As a sophomore, it is Langle’s third time qualifying for state.
“Carter’s an awesome golfer,” Haberling said. “I love having him with the program there. He puts in so much time (into golf) and it’s paid off.”
Beresford finished ninth in the tournament, shooting 377. First-year coach Riley Danielson credited his team for helping him as a coach in his first year.
“I’ll give them the credit because they were the ones doing all the work,” he said. “I was learning what I was doing as a coach throughout the whole year.”
Three Beresford golfers qualified individually for state, Derek Maas, Dustin Maas, and Kaden Anderson.
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