Story published: Friday, May. 11, 2012

The Olathe News

East golfers set for postseason run

todpalmer@theolathenews.com

Olathe East’s boys golf squad shot 302 on Wednesday at Alvamar Golf Course in Lawrence.

It’s a great score, the kind that oftentimes wins high school tournaments.

“Definitely, that is a strong score,” Hawks coach Kathy Lilley said. “Most years, that is awesome, but 302 was fourth this year.”

That is not a knock on East, but rather a nod to depth and talent flooding the high school golf

“I was just talking about that with some coaches, about how this is probably one of the strongest groups of golfers we’ve had across the board with so much talent across the area,” Lilley said.

While the Hawks finished behind Shawnee Mission East, Blue Valley West and BV North, East once again posted the top finish among the city’s four high schools at the meet and in the league competition.

Coming off a runner-up finish at the Kansas 6A state tournament, East has designs on another strong postseason showing.

“We put ourselves in a hole after the first leg, so it was going to be hard to recover and win league, but we have confidence in our ability and can still be a factor at state,” Lilley said.

Still, the Hawks, who totaled 930 strokes during the three-round league competition, have work to do to catch Sunflower League champion Shawnee Mission East (893) and SM Northwest (916).

Senior Trevor Tannahill paced East with a sixth-place finish at Alvamar, where he shot (73) en route to a fifth-place overall finish in the Sunflower League.

Tannahill, who signed Thursday with Johnson County Community College, shot 226 for three rounds and wound up only three shots behind third-place Conner Schrock of SM East.

Justin Churchill also nabbed a medal, finishing 10th (235), while reigning 6A state champion Alex Forristal wound up 13th with Pat McAnulty tied for 14th (242) and Alex Springer alone in 17th (244).

Forristal also signed Thursday with the Cavaliers.

Meanwhile, Olathe South finished fifth, checking in behind Lawrence Free State as well.

But the Falcons showed steady improvement from start to finish in league play.

In fact, South improved more after an opening-leg 355 than any other team in the league, trimming 38 shots by the Lawrence Invitational and claiming ninth among 25 teams with a 317 team score.

“I took over a week before tryouts started and I’ve been learning on the fly all year,” Falcons coach Dan Morrow said. “While we definitely have improved, part of that is the fact I had the wrong lineup at the first league meet.”

Still, there is solid evidence to back a claim that South has made tremendous strides.

Consider the Falcons’ No. 1 golfer, Tyler Ray, who opened the season with a 93, but shot 76 and tied for 19th at the Lawrence Invitational.

Olathe Northwest tied for eighth as a team and Olathe North finished 10th.