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Two Camp Verde High School sophomores shot State qualifying scores, but it was Sedona Red Rock High School’s golf team that opened the season with an overall qualifying score in its season opener March 4 at Verde Santa Fe Golf Course.

Junior Savanah Cooper shot her first of five scores required to qualify for the state Division III golf tournament for Sedona Red Rock High School in its season-opening win over Camp Verde and Bagdad high schools March 4.

SRRHS as a team shot a 155 — nine strokes ahead of the required qualifying score of 164 and 20 strokes ahead of the second-place Cowboys at 175 — on the front nine holes.

“I’m pleasantly surprised with a 155 right out of the chute,” said Scorpions head golf coach Dennis Mobley, whose last team to post a 155 was the 2006 Scorpions team at State. “Wow, what a great start.”

Scorpions sophomore Keagan Webster would end up being the only golfer on the day to finish under par, garnering birdies on the last two holes to post a 1-under-par 35. Juniors Gary Schlee and Savanah Cooper also got one step closer to qualifying for State with scores of 38 and 40, respectively.

Skyler Richardson shot a 42 for the Scorpions and fellow junior Jasper Herrick shot a 43, finishing two strokes behind the Verde Santa Fe qualifying score as well as CVHS sophomores Vance Tewawina and Joel Beauty, who also shot their first of five State qualifying scores for the Division III tournament at 3- and 4-over par, respectively.

“Camp Verde is showing tremendous improvement as well,” Mobley said. “We played each other in our second match last season — we had a 178 and Camp Verde had a 199 — so we’re both playing much better than a year ago.”

A third high school competing with the Cowboys and Scorpions on March 4 was Bagdad, which managed a 200 despite only sending four golfers to Verde Santa Fe, none of whom would end up shooting a 40 or better. Junior Tyler Leland came the closest with a 41 for the Sultans.

“You don’t need to shoot that individually if you qualify as a team for State,” Mobley said. “So we’re very hopeful we can make it as a team.”

All five qualifiers shot off the boys’ gold tees March 4 instead of the forward, or blue, tees at Verde Santa Fe — which, in Cooper’s case, made her shoot 100 more yards but also allowed her four more strokes to qualify over the front nine.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, March 12, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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