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Plumas County High School golfers play through to Sectionals

By Mari Erin Roth

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It has been a real challenge for golfers up in the Sierra with courses still buried in snow, but none more so than high school teams, whose seasons march on whether there are available courses or not.

Chester golfers

“We kind of had to fit everything into a week,” said Chester High School head golf coach Ronnie Theobald who is also the on-site Bailey Creek Golf Pro. No local matches were able to be played. For high school players to “qualify” for Sectionals, they have to “play” in high school matches explained Theobald.

And that is why Plumas County teams crammed what they could into a week of golf before the official high school golf season ended to qualify for advanced tournaments. The Chester Volcano golfers have been traveling down to lower elevations while the snow continued to fall up on the mountain to play in three tournaments: Diamond Mountain, Bidwell, and one at Peachtree in Marysville.

“It was tournament play for the teams of that area, but for the CHS players it was really just practice,” said Theobald. The practice made a difference for the 10 players on the Chester team. The Volcanoes also had the opportunity to utilize a golf simulator at one of the team members’ homes.  The top player on the Chester team is junior Cole Herman whose average is 89 going into the Sectionals tournament.

The Loyalton Grizzlies have bragging rights for the season MVP, LHS senior Braden Armstrong, with the lowest all-team average of 70. The honor brought with it an early commitment for college to William Jessup College in Sacramento.

 Trojan golfers

The Quincy golf team completed their season, without any games played in Plumas County, and one team member will be advancing to play in the Sectional competition this Monday, May 8, at Likely Links Golf Course in Likely. Rohan Linford is a senior at Quincy High School and has been competing on the Trojan golf team for the past three years.

“I loved working with our team this year,” said QHS head golf coach Damien Frank, “all of our players improved so much!” Linford will be advancing alone from Quincy to the advanced competition. “He will be missed after graduation,” said coach Frank, “along with our other two graduating seniors, Brayden Porter and Bodhi O’Brien.”

The Quincy golf team, along with the other Plumas County teams of Portola, Chester, Loyalton, and Westwood, have had what could be called “a really interesting season.” Even though Plumas County is home to some of the most beautiful and pristine golf courses in the county, they have all been “under the weather” this year. “We have only been able to practice inside the gym,” said coach Frank. “It was the only dry place. The team kept asking when they would be able to use real golf balls.”

It is easy to imagine how challenging it would be to practice golf without actual golf balls, but the Plumas County golf teams managed. It is not the first time that the majority of a golf season has ticked by while local courses remained buried by snow, but it is rare that the entire season has to be played outside of the County with practice held entirely indoors.

“We played league matches at Diamond Mountain Golf Course (Susanville) and Sierra Sage (Reno),” said coach Frank of the 6-member Quincy Trojan team. The only team that did not return to Plumas County competition in 2023 that played last year was Plumas Charter. Hopefully the Badgers will return to compete on the greens next year.

The Chester Volcano team came out on top for the league in 2023, which means the entire team will be competing in Sectionals beginning Monday, May 8. Quincy placed second in the Plumas County rankings. When courses open, players and coaches may see each other on local greens as they play through, but for this school year, golf season is over for all but the Sectional Tournament players. Look for an update next week on how our Plumas County golfers did in the final tournament.

Five of the 10 members of the Chester Volcano golf team play through April 26 in Reno, as they win their way to Sectionals as a team. From left: Ryder Christiansen, Ashwin Belcher, Faith Oswold, Cole Herman, Haven Chase, and Callie Herman. Photo by Ronnie Theobald
Quincy golf team soaks up some sunshine during the Sierra Sage golf course in Reno) April 26. From left: sophomore Conrad Melancon, coach Stew Clark, senior Brayden Porter, coach Damien Frank, senior Rohan Linford, sophomore Chavis McAllister, and senior Bodhi O’Brien. Not pictured: junior Shelby Nussle and sophomore Gabe Fletcher. Photo submitted

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