Oct. 6—What happens when a first-year head coach and a coach in his final year take their teams down to state?
Lewiston is looking to find out as the boys and girls golf teams head to Rexburg, Idaho, to play in the Class 5A state tournament starting Friday. The two-day tournament, which continues through Saturday, will have a practice round today at the par-70 Teton Lakes Golf Course.
The Lewiston girls earned their 14th team district title in the past 27 years Sept. 29 when the Bengals topped Coeur d'Alene by 10 strokes at the district tournament at The Links in Post Falls.
Girls coach Gregg MacMillan has decided that "28 is enough," as he will lead Lewiston at the only golf course in the state that he has not seen. That's because the last time the state tournament was at Teton Lakes, it was a rare time that MacMillan did not have a single qualifier make the tournament.
With the ability to mark Teton Lakes of his list, MacMillan said of his impending ride off into the sunset, "Going to be playing more golf courses myself."
MacMillan will look for the leaders on his team to continue playing well, as Lewiston had the top-three finishers at the district tourney.
Lone senior Abbigail Tellez was the overall medalist at The Links, carding an 84. She has come on strong as of late, leading the team to a victory Sept. 7 against Moscow at Bryden Canyon.
"(Abbigail) is the only one who has not missed state," MacMillan said. "She was the only one to qualify two years ago."
Junior Mollie Seibly has had the most success this season. Seibly won the individual title at the Lake City Invitational on Aug. 29 and three days later, finished second at the Lakeland Invitational, which also was at The Links.
The ever-consistent Julia Brume has rarely wavered from rounds of between 85 and 90 throughout the season, and with the shorter layout of Teton Lakes could put up lower numbers this weekend.
"When you go to state, the competition gets a bit stiffer," MacMillan said. "The key is (players Nos. 4 and 5)."
The fourth and fifth spots for the Bengals are held down by two lesser experienced golfers, but they have shown great strides this season.
Lexington Casey only has a couple of years of experience and Shelby Arellano is just a freshman.
MacMillan said the goal is to come away with a top-four finish, which would get the Bengals a trophy. A fourth state championship and first since 2012 would not be so bad, either.
Lewiston's boys have found success under first-year coach Jessica Shawley, and she hopes her senior-laden team.
"We have a great group of gentlemen and a core group of seniors," Shawley said. "They worked really hard for it."
Carson King has had the most success on the team. King has been the medalist in the Moscow dual and the Lake City Invitational. His best performance came Aug. 23 at Prairie Falls Golf Club, where the senior carded a 3-under-par 69 to finish second.
Seniors Christian Reed and Noah Acord carded scores of 81 and 87, respectively, at the district tournament. Senior Teigen Knewbow tied King with a 7-over 79 at the Sandpoint Invite at The Idaho Club on Sept. 26.
The lone junior, Cody Ray, led Lewiston at the district tournament with an 80 that helped the Bengals to pick up the second bid to the state tourney.
"We are looking forward to getting down to Rexburg," Shawley said. "I hope they have their minds where they want them to be."
Lewiston will look for its first state title since 1995.
Lone Bear to play at state tourney
Moscow freshman Chase Lovell finished just one stroke behind winner Brady Hanna of Lakeland with a round of 83 to earn his spot at the two-day Class 4A state championship starting Friday at Sage Lakes Golf Course in Idaho Falls.
Lovell has been strong all season, including a 77 to finish in a tie for seventh at the Lakeland Invite.
He led Moscow to a fourth-place team finish, 10 shots ahead of Lewiston, with a 9-over 81 at the Lake City Invitational.
Isbelle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (208) 848-2268 or on Twitter @RandyIsbelle.