Panther golfers third in Worland


Continuing to improve, the Powell High School boys golf team posted its lowest score and best finish of the season last week, placing third among six schools in a Thursday-Friday tournament in Worland.

Powell’s best four varsity scores on each of the two days totaled 755 strokes. Buffalo’s boys edged Thermopolis for the title with a score of 678.

Panther Reece Hackenberg just missed out on a top-10 finish, placing 11th with rounds of 92 and 93.

“I am very pleased with the consistency that Reece is showing lately,” PHS coach Troy Hildebrand said. “He is finding ways to keep his rounds in the upper 80s and low 90s, and as a sophomore that is a great trait to have.”

Sophomore Rob Sessions again shaved several shots from the prior week, shooting 92-95.

“I really like how Rob is hitting the ball right now and he is working hard on all parts of his game to have a strong finish to the season. His growth from last year to now is incredible,” Hildebrand said.

Fellow sophomore Bennett Walker went 96-92 — the second day being a personal best.

“He has been incredibly consistent this whole season and I really feel his best golf is coming in the next two weeks,” Hildebrand said.

Freshman Crandell Sanders also continued to post lower scores, shooting 99-96.

“Crandell puts in extra time all week at practice and his results are showing that dedication each week,” Hildebrand said.

Senior Austin Asher got off to a great start on Thursday, but “ran into two brutal holes” and posted a 116, followed by a 103, Hildebrand said.

“I was very proud of how he kept his head and did his best to post his best score both days,” the coach said of Asher.

On the JV squad, junior Treven Keeler shot 97 then “really broke through Friday” with a career-best 89, Hildebrand said. Keeler finished one shot behind Hackenberg.

“This is exactly what I have been waiting for with Treven and this is the perfect time for him to put it all together,” Hildebrand said.

Senior Kyle Church fired a round of 106, then posted his career best by eight shots: a 95.

“Kyle has been working hard in practice to get things back on track and this was a good step for him,” Hildebrand said.

Next was junior Kacey Creed, who posted scores of 102 and 101 — 25 shots better than his opening week.

“Kacey has shown growth in every aspect of his game this fall,” Hildebrand said.

Zavier Wantulok posted two rounds of 110.

“Zavier wasn’t quite able to keep his momentum from Sheridan going this week, but he is still playing the best golf of his high school career in his senior season,” the coach said.

PHS has nine players competing for five varsity spots going into the final tune-up before state: the Class 3A West Conference Tournament in Lander. They’ll tee off at noon on Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.