Hirsch Creek Golf and Winter Club hosted a two-day high school golf tournament fielding a team from Prince Rupert and from Kitimat.
The teams from Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary and Charles Hays Secondary both fielded eight players over the two days, the Northwest zone championships which includes Prince Rupert, the Hazeltons, Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers.
Prince Rupert, Kitimat and Smithers are currently the only three in the zone that are fielding a team. This is also Prince Rupert’s first year back in the Double A class.
The team from Smithers that was supposed to compete in the tournament cancelled the week before the tournament.
Teacher sponsor Susan Dobbin said the two remaining teams decided to carry on with the tournament to practice for upcoming tournaments.
The MEMSS team is off to the Single A Provincials in Kelowna from June 2 to 4, while Charles Hays will be attending the Double A provincials from June 3 to 5 at Qualicum Beach.
Because the two teams are on different tiers, Single A and Double A, the scores were purely for record purposes.
What determines whether a team is in the single or double tier is how many Grade 12 male and female players the school can field. Schools with more students, therefore, have more players to select from.
Due to the dropping student numbers at MEMSS the schools went from competing in the Double A to the Single A tier.
“Ironically because we were down a tier we were able to finish quite high last year. We finished third in 2018, the best placing we’ve ever had,” said Dobbin.
This is the first time in eight years that Charles Hays has been able to field a team.
The Kitimat team had three returning players this year, the other two players being new to the team, selected from players who practiced alongside the team.
Charles Hays posted 765 strokes over the two days, while MEMSS shot a total of 708 strokes.
The top golfer was Seth Horsefall who shot a round of 84 on the first day and an 83 on the second day for a total of 167.
Prince Rupert’s top player was Johnny Pirillo who shot an 89 on the first day and a 92 on the second day with a total score of 181.
Dobbin said this year’s team’s improvement is thanks to the coaching provided by Hirsch Creek’s Winston Michell and Dan Martin.
“They have been working with the kids two days a week, with an additional early morning session. In 25 years this is the best level of coaching and support we’ve had from the club,” said Dobbin. “There’s nowhere for them to go now but up.”