The Kansas high school boys golf season concludes Monday with state championship tournaments in all classes. Class 6A will play at Auburn Hills in Wichita, Class 5A at Salina Municipal, Class 4A at Wamego Municipal, Class 2A at Southwind in Garden City and Class 1A at Sugar Hills in Goodland. For schedules, see kshsaa.org.
1. BV North’s top-ranked top four
Shawnee Mission East enters the Class 6A tournament as the defending champion, tied for second in the division with a team average score of 307 and led by junior Thomas Luger’s 73.6 average. But Blue Valley North leads the classification with an average score of 297 — and its top four golfers are all in the top 10 in individual rankings. Freshman Davis Cooper is fifth with a 74.3 average, followed closely by second-time state qualifiers Jack Lee and Ryan Bender (74.4). Junior Jack Theiss rounds out the list, ranked ninth at 74.9.
SM East’s next-best golfer is freshman Will Harding (76.8) at 14th, then 16th-ranked junior Owen Hill (77.8).
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2. Ghilardi goes for medalist honors
Sunflower League champion Christian Ghilardi might find himself battling Luger for first place in the Class 6A tournament. Ghilardi, an SM Northwest junior who’s making his third state appearance, is the top-ranked player in the classification with a 73.3 average. He placed fifth at state last year after shooting a 75, 3strokes behind Luger. This year, Ghilardi carded a 71 to win the Lawrence Invitational and finished as runner-up at five other meets.
3. Another Aquinas title possible
With four of its golfers finishing in the top five, St. Thomas Aquinas had no trouble winning its region with a score of 311 at Tomahawk Hills in Shawnee. The Saints return to state with five of last year’s championship team members, including Andrew Cunningham (ranked third in the class with a 74.5 average) and junior Jack Seiler, who placed second in last year’s tournament.
Aquinas shouldn’t have a hard time defending last year’s Class 5A title. Blue Valley Southwest leads the division with an average score of 312, 2 strokes ahead of Aquinas. But without its second-best player — Cole Purdum and his 17th-ranked average of 79.6 — on the course in Salina, BV Southwest will have a tough go dethroning Aquinas.
4. Small-class magic
Immaculata will close its 100-year-old doors at the end of the school year. Though its golf team is an underdog in the Class 1A tournament, unlikely to repeat as champions for a third straight season, Immaculata could still write a fairy-tale ending. Senior Evan Wheaton, who placed fourth at state with an 82 last year and is the team’s only returning champion, is second in the classification with an average score of 77.3, not even a stroke behind the leader (Dalton Beougher, Hodgeman County, 76.5).
KC Christian enters the Class 2A tournament ranked second in the division with a 325 average. The Prairie Village school will contend with a tough Sacred Heart bunch that leads the state of Kansas with a 288 average. Sacred Heart’s top golfers, Grant and Tate Herrenbruck, lead the division with averages of 69.4 and 72.1, respectively. Parker Allen (77) and Nate Streeter (78.5) are KC Christian’s top golfers and rank seventh and eighth in the division.