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By Jocelyn Rowley

Boys Golf: Niwot opens the 2018 season with back-to-back tournament wins


August 17, 2018

Courtesy Photo

Niwot took first at the 2018 Spartan Invitational at Highland Hills GC in Greeley on Aug. 13. From left: Luc Blondeau, Sam Hoover, Jack Hoover, Andrew Elliott and Ed Weaver.

The Niwot boys golf team captured two first place titles in the first two tournaments of the 2018 season, but head coach Ed Weaver doesn’t want anyone getting too comfortable.

“I expected them to be very competitive early,” he said following the Cougars’ six-stroke win at the Spartan Invitational in Greeley on Aug. 13. “But I also know it’s a long season, and we still have to play consistently.”

That said, it’s hard not to get excited about the team’s performance in the early going, even if the players are not exactly in mid-season form.

Niwot kicked off the season on Aug. 9 with a five-stroke win at the year’s first Northern League event, held at Loveland’s Olde Course. Led by senior Jack Hoover, the Cougars finished with 341 points on the day, followed by Silver Creek (346) and Longmont (368).

Hoover carded a 78 on the day, putting him in a tie for second overall with Longmont’s Adam Gannon. The senior had a double-bogey and eight pars on the front nine, but then struggled on the final five holes to finish at +6. Before his round, Hoover said he sees special things ahead for this year’s Cougars.

“We have a great team this year,” he said. “Any of these guys can play a great round at any moment, and this is a really solid group.”

Senior Andrew Elliott (+9) had a birdie on both the front and back nines, and ended the day in fifth place overall. Junior Sam Hoover and sophomore Luc Blondeau both shot a 91, and tied for 14th-place, while freshman Christopher Gunlickson (+29) was 23rd.

“I think Luc was the only one who was happy with the way he played,” Weaver remarked afterwards. Blondeau’s 91 was a high school career best for the sophomore, whose improvement over the off-season has been a pleasant surprise for Weaver.

Blondeau didn’t have long to relish his record. Just days later, he was back out on the course with his team at the Spartan Invite. There, the 10th-grader shot an 86 (+15) to set yet another high school best. It also put all four Niwot players under 90 for the day, a key factor in the 6-stroke win.

Hoover came up big for the Cougars again, finishing the day with a 77 (+6), which was good for fourth overall. Younger brother Sam was just a stroke behind with a 78.

“Sam just played really solid,” Weaver said. In Loveland, the junior struggled with his short game, especially putting. “He just had it going. He wasn’t messing around.”

Elliott (+10) finished the round in 12th place overall.

Though Weaver thinks his team is headed “in the right direction,” he still sees room for improvement.

“We have to take the big scores off the card,” he said, referring to double- and triple-bogies which continue to litter Niwot’s scorecards. “That’s going to continue to be the emphasis.”

The Cougars continued their whirlwind week on Aug.14, with the Niwot-hosted league event at Twin Peaks. On Aug. 16, the boys head to Eaton for an invitational, then they are back at Twin Peaks for the third league event on Aug. 21.

8/9—Northern League meet #1, Olde Course (Loveland)

Team Scores — Niwot 341, Silver Creek 346, Longmont 368, Centaurus 382, Thompson Valley 384, Greeley Central 432, Mountain View 484, Northridge

Top Individuals — 1. Traejan Andrews, Northridge 70; 2. Adam Gannon, Longmont 78; 2. Jack Hoover, 78; 4. Garrett Stansel, Silver Creek 79; 5. Andrew Elliott, 81; 6. John Sekich, Silver Creek 82; 7. Jace Brennan, Northridge 83; 8. Mason Magley, Thompson Valley 86; 8. Whit Hewett, Thompson Valley 86; 10. Nicholas Vaver, Centaurus 88.

Niwot Individuals —2. Jack Hoover, 78; 5. Andrew Elliott, 81; 14. Luc Blondeau, 91; 14. Sam Hoover, 91; 23. Christopher Gulickson, 101.

8/13—Greeley West Spartan Invitational, Highland Hills GC (Greeley)

Courtesy Photo

Senior Jack Hoover tees off for the Cougars in Niwot High’s first athletic event of the 2018-19 school year. He shot a 78 on the day, which was good for a tie for second overall.

Team Scores — 1. Niwot 236, 2. Frontier Academy 242, 3. Northridge 243, 4. Legacy 247, 5. Boulder 251, 6. Fossil Ridge 255, 7. Broomfield 257, 8. Eaton 264, 8. Mountain Range 264, 10. Greeley West 265, 11. Resurrection Christian 268, 12. Rocky Mountain 270, 13. Fort Collins 273, 14. Windsor 281, 15. Lakewood 284, 16. Monarch 291, 16. Loveland 291, 18. Mountain View 294, 19. Poudre 295, 20. Greeley Central 309, 21. Horizon 317

Top Individuals —Traejan Andrews, Northridge 73; 2. Connor Jones, Mountain Range 74; 3. Nathan Kenigsberg, Greeley West 76; 4. Jack Hoover, 77; 5. Robert Noffsinger, Frontier Academy 78; 5. Sam Hoover, 78; 5. Grant Hoos, Legacy 78; 8. Levi Wyrick, Fossil Ridge 80; 8. Walker Scott, Eaton 80; 8. Austin Magnuson, Northridge 80

Niwot Individuals — 4. Jack Hoover 77; 5. Sam Hoover 78; 12. Andrew Elliott 81; 25. Luc Blondeau 86


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