Chad Smith could get used to weeks like this one. But the Roseburg High boys golf coach is by no means taking for granted he’ll have that luxury.
Minutes after finding out the Indians had won their own eight-school Cascade Challenge Invitational — their second team triumph in four days — Smith was still treading carefully when asked if they had turned a corner.
“I’d like to say yes, but I don’t want to jinx us,” Smith said. “You know how it goes: One day you’ve got it, the next day you don’t know where it went.”
The Indians had it again Friday at Roseburg Country Club, wrapping up the win in 307 strokes to edge Sheldon (319) and North Medford (321). Three of the top five individual finishers were Indians, led by senior Devin Caylor’s medalist performance of 3-over-par 75, which was particularly pleasing to Smith considering the damp and sometimes-drizzly setting.
On the girls’ side, which featured five schools, Sheldon put four individuals in the top five to get out in 323 strokes — 26 better than second-place Roseburg — which gave the Irish the overall boys/girls team title.
Defending Southwest Conference champion Haleigh Krause, a Sheldon junior, carded a steady 75 for first place. Roseburg sophomore Clare Dittemore fired an 8-over 80 for third.
The Roseburg boys notched their first win of the spring Tuesday at Centennial in Medford, where they accumulated 297 strokes to break 300 for the first time in Smith’s eight years as boys coach. Caylor’s 1-over 73 also led them there and was good for second place overall.
Caylor’s win Friday was the first in his prep career. Consecutive birdies on the 11th and 12th holes helped him pull even through 13, and he kept it together despite a double-bogey thereafter. He totaled five birdies on the afternoon.
“I had some ups and downs, but I was hitting my irons pretty well and I was just missing in the right spots, really,” Caylor said. “I’d hit some bad shots and they’d turn out to be fine, and I got in trouble with some drives but I was able to get around it.”
Roseburg senior Drew Groshong bogeyed his last hole, the par-4 No. 3, to card a 76 and open the door for Caylor’s outright victory. Groshong was also just a stroke behind Caylor at Centennial.
Roseburg’s Garrett Ramsey turned in a 77 for fifth place overall and Zach Wilson a 79 to tie for ninth. Arie Yraguen’s 82 rounded out the Indians’ top five.
After beginning the season with rounds of 332 in Bandon and 330 at the Marist Invitational, Caylor said the senior-laden Indians were “just kind of starting to wonder where we were going.” Their last two rounds have cooled some of those concerns, but Smith remained cautiously optimistic — bearing in mind that both North Medford and Sheldon were without their No. 1 golfers.
“We’ve played extremely well, and you can’t take that away, but we’ve also gotten some breaks in certain spots,” Smith said. “Hopefully they continue to go our way, but the nice thing we can fall back on is the fact that we have six or seven seniors that can all do it and it’s kind of their year.”
Sutherlin’s Tyler Franke shot a tournament-best 35 on the front-nine and tallied 79 total to tie Wilson for ninth overall.
Led by Dittemore, the Roseburg girls tacked onto a promising week of their own, during which they also picked up a win at Centennial. Sheldon wasn’t around for that one, though, and the league favorites had no problem establishing themselves as such again at RCC.
Dittemore’s third-place finish came on the heels of a second-place performance, her 77 followed by an 80. She birdied her final hole of the day, helping her bury the frustration of an earlier double-bogey that set her back.
“My swing wasn’t great last year, I didn’t think, but I managed to fix a couple things and I’m starting to feel like it’s on its way,” Dittemore said. “I feel like I can actually depend on it now, and even though I had a bad streak of holes I managed to pull it together in the end. So it was a little frustrating, but I feel like I could improve.”
Junior Kiana Cash followed her third-place showing at Centennial with an 87 to match junior Kayla Epperly for a sixth-place tie. Emily Ott’s 49 on the back-nine helped her card 110 for Roseburg’s other counting score.
Sheldon’s Sam Rouleau fired a 79 for second place, and freshman Jenny Krause checked in at fourth for the Irish with an 84. Brooke Spencer, an Oakland student golfing with Sutherlin, shot a 91 to check in at ninth.
The girls have their first of three regular-season SWC tournaments Monday at the Grants Pass Golf Club. The boys also play Monday at GPGC, but the first SWC tourney counting toward the regular season title won’t be held until April 15 at the Eugene Country Club.
TEAM SCORES — Roseburg 307, North Medford 319, Sheldon 321, Grants Pass 356, Marshfield 357, Crater 359, Reedsport 363, Sutherlin 364.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS — Devin Caylor, Ros., 39-36—75; Drew Groshong, Ros., 37-39—76; Joey Walker, NM, 41-36—77; Garrett Ramsey, Ros., 38-39—77; Charlie Lee, She., 37-40—77; Brandon Galante, NM, 42-36—78; Joseph Kuehn, She., 40-38—78; Montana Frame, Reed., 38-40—78; Zach Wilson, Ros., 39-40—79; Tyler Franke, Suth., 35-44—79.
OTHER ROSEBURG FINISHERS — Arie Yraguen 44-38—82, Taylor Cook 45-51—96.
OTHER SUTHERLIN FINISHERS — Matt Tew 45-41—86, Jaden Shelton 42-52—94, Scout Meyer 52-53—105, Ian Downs 52-56— 108, Riley Adamson 55-60—115.
TEAM SCORES — Sheldon 323, Roseburg 349, Grants Pass 418, Marshfield 479, Sutherlin 498.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS — Haleigh Krause, Shel., 37-38—75; Sam Rouleau, Shel., 38-41—79; Clare Dittemore, R, 41-39—80; Jenny Krause, Shel., 41-43-84; Abby Brennan, Shel., 39-46—85; Kiana Cash, R, 42-45—77; Kayla Epperly, R, 41-46—87; Alexi Bevans, Shel., 44-45—87; Brooke Spencer, Suth., 46-45—91; Donnie Thomason, GP, 43-49—92.
OTHER ROSEBURG FINISHERS — Emily Ott 61-49—110, Peyton Price 62-53—115.
OTHER SUTHERLIN FINISHERS — Carmen Seehawer 68-62—130, Shania Wallis 68-75—143, Jocelyn Hanan 81-94—175, Stephanie Mahoney 97-96—193.