Young Cougars have high expectations – Loveland Reporter-Herald

When Resurrection Christian golf coach Rick Meis looks out over his two dozen golfers, he sees youth, hope, optimism — and more importantly — the present and future of the Cougars’ program.

Just how good could the Resurrection Christian boys golf team be this season?

This could be the year the Cougars get back to state as a team — and possibly win the program’s first state championship.

Those are the expectations of sixth-year head coach Meis. After qualifying just one golfer to state last season and two the year before, he has reason to be so optimistic for this season to not only be different, but special.

And with a young but deep team, the Cougars could be seen for success for several years in the future, which is why Meis’ expectations are as high as they are.

“They are huge,” Meis said. “You have two goals. I have a goal to take a full team to state and then the goal after that is to finish high, if not win a state championship. I am not sure if they really know how good they are. I have been around high school golf for several years and I have seen some of the best golfers in Colorado. I foresee if they stick with it and the commitment and the talent they already have at 14 years old, 15 maybe, I see Division I kids coming out of our school in three or four years. It is exciting.”

The team’s lone returning state qualifier is senior Gage Meis, Rick’s grandson. Gage Meis finished in a tie for 65th place after shooting a two-round total of 178 at state last year.

Gage knows it wasn’t his best, but the experience he got was worth the trip, one that he hopes to make again this year, preferably with the rest of his team.

“It was rough,” Gage said. “The course was tough. I played hard. The guys I played with were always awesome. Coaching was great. It’s fun to be down there. It’s a great environment. Everyone there just wants to compete and play. When you get there, you can just feel it in the air that this is the state. It’s time to play.

“You always want to take a team to state. It helps you out in the scoring and it is more fun.”

A two-time regional qualifier, Gage said he didn’t take golf seriously his freshman year, and after just missing out on going to state, began to take it more seriously, which was evident by his state qualification as a junior.

He hopes to take another step this season, his last as a Cougar.

“I started taking it seriously and playing more and more during the summer,” he said. “This summer I have played more than ever and I am three times the player I was freshman year.”

Even though Gage Meis was a state qualifier last season, he has some competition for the top spot on the team this season. Just a couple of days before the start of the season, coach Meis has the team’s No. 1 tabbed as freshman Clint Summers.

Summers is one of several freshmen, not only on the team, but with a single-digit handicap.

“I moved into Loveland on a golf course when I was 4,” Summers said. “I picked up my first set of clubs around then. I started taking it seriously when I was around 10. That is when I started joining some leagues and really taking it seriously.

“It’s a lot different having a team, a lot more fun I think. Just going to practice every day with my friends is just a different experience.”

Of the coach’s projected top six going into the season, Gage Meis is the only senior. Summers leads a talented freshman class that will see a lot of action this season and are expected to contribute immediately.

While he feels like his top three are set, he expects to see a battle for his No. 4 spot — not surprisingly, among two freshmen and a sophomore.

“I’ve got three freshmen, one senior and then I’ve got two kids that are going to challenge my number four,” Rick Meis said. “One is a freshman and one is a sophomore, so we’ve got a really young team. The thing that is so special about those top six is ​​that their goal is team, but they are competitive enough as individuals. I think these kids are devoted hard to the team. They want to be the kid that has their score in the top three. I see that in them. And I think we will see that rotate a lot because kids will have off days.

Jack Carter is one of several freshmen expected to contribute in a big way for the Resurrection Christian boys golf team this season. (Nathan Wright/Loveland Reporter-Herald)

“I have kids that sit eight or nine that can beat my two or three on a certain occasion if you take their average score and they understand it.”

In addition to Gage Meis and Summers, the rest of Rick’s top six include Jack Carter, Micah Livingstone, Graham Riggs and Asher Nugent, all of whom are underclassmen.

Both Rick and Gage Meis saw this season coming, with a talented freshman class and 25 golfers in total, a number that seems to grow every year.

“Since I have seen these guys for the first time, and saw their swing, there is a little bit of motivation to get out there and get after it,” Gage Meis said.

With players only allowed 11 regular-season tournaments, Rick Meis will have to pick and choose which ones to take his top golfers to. For example, he held his top four out of the team’s first tournament in Brush, but planned for them to play in a more competitive tournament in Greeley a few days later.

By the time the regional and state tournaments come around, he expects to have a top group experienced enough to qualify for state and make a run at a state championship.

With such a large group of young players, it could be the first of several in the coming seasons.

Berthoud Spartans

Head coach: David Hunn (fifth season)

2022 finish: 6th out of 10 teams in league play (top 3A school in mixed league)

Returning state qualifiers: Landon Kuntz (Sr.), Coyle Hagerty (Jr.)

Golfers to watch: Christian Foxworth (Sr.), David Sarmiento (Jr.), Graham McNair (So.), Ezra Keller (Fr.), Eason Frasier (Fr.)

Coach’s outlook: “Moving to a new league, the Patriot League, which consists of only 3A schools, we should place in the top 3 of the 10-team conference. Looking at our experience with the upperclassmen and the drive of the top 6-7 kids, we should make waves like the girls did last season. Having the state team ranking in the top 10 for 3A is definitely realistic and attainable. The Spartans have a good chemistry between all the players and have that desire to continuously improve on all facets of the game.”

Loveland Red Wolves

Head coach: Bill Stephens (14th season)

2022 finish: Did not qualify for state as a team

Returning state qualifier: Keaton Koch (Jr.)

Golfers to watch: Eli Osburn (So.), Weston Beymer (So.)

Coach’s outlook: “Starting season off with many new faces this year. What we have seen so far is encouraging for a successful season this year.”

Mountain View Mountain Lions

Head coach: Joe Ernst (first season)

Last year’s finish: Did not qualify for state as a team

Returning state qualifiers: None

Golfers to watch: Jace Brasher (Sr.), Blake Hull (Sr.), Zachary Wind (Sr.), and Aidan Vancil (Sr.)

Coach’s outlook: “This is my first year coaching the golf team at Mountain View High School. I have been coaching high school girls soccer in the northern Colorado area for the past ten years, and jumped at the opportunity to coach in the building where I will be starting my third year of teaching. I feel honored and excited to be able to take the reins of a program that is already well established and ready to build on past successes. This group is committed to making a run at state this year and they have an excellent group of underclassmen who will help them get there.”

Thompson Valley Eagles

Head coach: Mike Burkett (third season)

Last year’s finish: Did not qualify for state as a team

Returning state qualifiers: None

Golfers to watch: Mason Ramirez (So.), Jackson Lund (So.), Parker Muehlbauer (Sr.)

Coach’s outlook: “The last two seasons were spent trying to build the program back into being competitive. We have accomplished that goal and now we want a little more. We have a few kids that will battle and compete for State qualifying spots.”

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