What does two returning state tournament competitors plus one newcomer with tournament experience equal?
For James Valley Christian, it equals a day-one lead.
Thanks to the top-two individual scores, the Vikings have a 12-stroke lead after Monday’s opening round of the South Dakota State Class B Boys’ Golf Tournament at Yankton’s Hillcrest Golf & Country Club.
A year after not having enough golfers to qualify for a team score, James Valley Christian shot a 30-over 246 to sit atop the leaderboard.
Senior Carter Wells sits atop the individual leaderboard after carding a 76, which was three strokes better than junior teammate Austin Boomsma — a newcomer to the Vikings this year.
“Both of them challenge each other; they’re always battling,” said JVC head coach Phelan Stahl.
“It seems like they’ve been switching off who’s first or second every single time.”
Two years ago as a sophomore, Wells tied for fifth at the state tournament and last year tied for 26th place. Boomsma tied for 23rd at state a year ago when he was golfing for Miller.
Now, with Boomsma in the mix, the Vikings boast a formidable tandem.
“He wanted to come to our school, and he’s a great player,” Stahl said of Boomsma. “We wouldn’t be where we are right now without him.”
That duo is joined by sophomore Ryan Stahl (the coach’s son), who sits in a tie for 31st place after shooting a 91, as well as freshman Jevin Goertz who is tied for 39th with a 93.
This year marks Boomsma’s fourth state tournament, while Wells and Stahl are both competing in their third state tournament, according to coach Stahl.
“It’s all just gelled for us,” the coach said. “The two younger ones have been with me since they were seventh graders, so it’s been great to see the kids grow up.”
Deubrook Area and Platte-Geddes are in a second-place tie with a 42-over 258 after the opening round, while Hamlin (265), Parker (266) and Potter County (268) round out the top-six. Bon Homme is tied with Howard for seventh place at 275.
Hamlin’s Devan Weelborg sits third in the individual race at 80, one stroke better than Platte-Geddes’ Brody Boltjes.
The quartet of Freeman’s Tryg Aanenson, Deubrook Area’s Carter Ekern, Howard’s Lane Hodges and Kimball-White Lake’s Matthew Fey are tied for fifth place at 83. Great Plains Lutheran’s Sam Hansen and Deubrook Area’s Nash Colberg are tied for ninth at 85.
Parker returned all four golfers from last year’s state runner-up squad, and the Pheasants were led Monday by Jaron Pesicka (86), Alex Kasten (86), Trey Christensen (94) and Jackson Fiegen (101).
Action concludes today (Tuesday) at Hillcrest Golf & Country Club.
Follow @jhoeck on Twitter