Rams hold off Lovington, win district golf title

By Dave Wagner: PNT sports writer

CLOVIS — The Portales High boys golf team has its goal directly in sight.

The Rams didn’t exactly enjoy their best day of the season in Monday’s Class 1-3A District 3 tournament at Chaparral Country Club, but they had more than enough to take the team title. Now they’ve set their sites on the state tournament, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at UNM South in Albuquerque.

Portales finished with a four-man total of 315, outlasting second-place Lovington by seven shots, and coach Patrick Crowley said he was impressed with the way his young squad went about its business.

“This (district title) was important from the get-go,” Crowley said. “They (Rams) did a real good job of not taking it for granted.

“I had a sneaking feeling about Lovington. Last year, we beat them by a stroke (for the district title) at their place.”

Freshman Donavin Sanchez led the Rams, capping the day’s best score of 37-38 — 75 with an eagle-3 on the final hole. Meantime, with a couple of others not shooting their normal scores, junior Jefferson Powers came through with a round of 41-37 — 78.

“I chipped real well today,” Sanchez said. “I played about as good as I thought I would.

“I didn’t hit my irons very well, but I had a good eagle on the last hole. I just hit a good drive, and a good shot to the back of the green.”

Sanchez admitted he wasn’t thinking eagle on his next shot. He was just trying to get close.

“As soon as I hit it, I knew it would be pretty good,” he said.

Powers’ score was good for third place individually, while freshman Rick Bergman finished fourth at 80. Freshman William Archibeque shot 82 and senior Matthew Parkey finished at 83.

“Donavin has played well all season,” Crowley said. “He told me he had some trouble with his irons, although I couldn’t see it.

“These guys are as hard on themselves as I am. They’re making my job easy.”

Sanchez said the Rams are anxious for the state meet. Their main competitors appear to be Socorro and Grants, but Sanchez said he’s not ready to count Lovington out.

“I think we’re ready,” he said. “It just depends on how everybody plays. As long as the team stays good, we’ll be all right.

“We’ve got a good, five-deep team.”

Two of Portales’ five girls didn’t participate on Monday because of a funeral, so the Lady Rams did not compile a team score. Amber McCasland shot 122 for Portales, while Janet Walker scored 123 and Arinn Lovett finished at 136.

Lovington and Clovis Christian had the only full girls teams, with the Lady Wildcats edging CCS 406-409 for the team title. Clovis Christian’s Mollie Peterson was the individual medalist with a round of 42-39 — 81.