The Los Lunas High School golf team finished the 2002 season with an eye toward the future.
“The last half of the season, I’ve been trying to give as much experience as I can to these guys that are going to be the future,” said head coach Steve Clemenson on Tuesday, the day after the Tigers wrapped up the season at the District 3-5A tournament in Las Cruces. “In fact, yesterday, I had two eighth-graders, a freshman and two guys that never played in a tournament before. So I’m looking toward the future.”
Clemenson was speaking of the boys team. Freshman Zach Gallegos and eighth-grader J.D. Wright led the team with 87s. Eighth-grader Ed Hernandez and juniors Jared Shue and Tyler Ortiz each shot 99.
The Tigers’ combined score of 372 placed them fifth among six teams at the tournament held at the New Mexico State University Golf Course on Monday. Las Cruces High won with 304. Anthony Gadsden edged Las Cruces Mayfield 314-315 for second place.
Clemenson pointed out the field included what he considered four of the top 10 schools in the state. So he was encouraged by the boys efforts.
“As young as our team was, I’m not disappointed at all,” he said. “We’re looking to try to develop these young players.”
The Lady Tiger golf team placed third with 455. Alamogordo smoked the course with a 310 to win the girls tournament. Las Cruces High was a distant second at 425.
“The good thing about our girls is that we played that same course last week and they knocked off about 50 shots,” the coach said.
Sophomore Isabel Archuleta led the Lady Tigers with a 96. Rounding out the team were seniors Angela Burnham and Crystal Jiron and juniors Laura Burnham and Kori Bell.
Though the Los Lunas golf program isn’t where Clemenson wants it, the second-year coach thinks the program is on the right track. “It’s looking good, but we’ve got a long way to go,” he said. “But we’ve got a lot of kids out there who show up every day and work real hard and have improved tremendously.”
The season is over for all but Los Lunas senior A.J. Smith who will play in next week’s Class 5A boys state tournament in Albuquerque. Smith earned the three legs needed to qualify for the tournament during the season.
Belen High’s district tourney postponed
The District 3-4A golf tournament involving the Belen High School golf teams originally scheduled for Monday in Deming was postponed. The tournament was moved to Tuesday. No results were available at News-Bulletin press time.