ALBUQUERQUE — The Portales High boys golf team knows it has its work cut out, but coach Patrick Crowley says the Rams are ready for the challenge.
Socorro put together four sub-80 scores Monday and the Warriors stormed to a 20-shot lead after the first day of the Class 1-3A state golf tournament at UNM South in Albuquerque.
Portales will enter the second day in a three-way tie for second with Grants and Sandia Prep at 333. Senior Matthew Parkey had the Rams’ top score for the day, an 80 that leaves him tied for 10th place individually.
Crowley said it was the short game that gave his team problems on Monday.
“We hit the ball really well (off the tee),” he said. “We just didn’t do a good job of getting it in the hole.”
Freshman Donavin Sanchez shot an 82 for the Rams, while freshmen Rick Bergman and William Archibeque followed at 85 and 86, respectively. Junior Jefferson Powers finished at 88.
“Donavin just got snakebit on a couple of holes,” Crowley said. “He told me he played well except for that.
“William lipped numerous putts out. I think he let that get inside his head a little bit.”
Grants’ Karl Gottlieb and Socorro’s Randy Torres share the individual lead after posting rounds of 76.
Still, the Rams aren’t giving up despite the sizable deficit.
“They (Warriors) know we’re coming after them,” Crowley said. “To a man on this squad, they said, ‘Coach, it can be done.’
“We’re not going to make the same mistakes we made today. We’re going to be sharper tomorrow, and we’ll see what happens.”
For the girls, St. Michael’s also opened a big lead, shooting 335 for a 33-stroke margin on runnerup Socorro. Jessica Dailleboust of Hope Christian has a two-shot lead individually after a first-day 76.
In the Class 4A tournament at Las Cruces, Los Alamos leads by six shots over Albuquerque Academy in boys competition and Roswell Goddard has a 24-shot cushion over Los Alamos on the girls’ side.
In 5A at Albuquerque, Rio Rancho’s boys and Sandia’s girls have one-stroke margins over Mayfield and La Cueva, respectively.