In what was seen as basically a formality, the Seaside boys golf team scored another championship May 7 at Quail Valley Golf Course, where the Gulls won the Special District 1/4A regional title to secure their spot in next week’s state tournament.
Seaside finished with a two-round team score of 643, 47 strokes ahead of second place Valley Catholic (690).
Banks (747) edged Molalla (748) by a single stroke to earn the district’s third spot at the state tournament. Astoria finished at 765, followed by North Marion (788) and Tillamook (793).
In the first of what could be many district awards, Seaside freshman Carson Kawasoe was tournament medalist with a 154 (70-84). Sophomore teammate Curtis Kunde was second, at 160, followed by Connor Merrell (162). Mason Shamion (168) and Samson Sibony (173) rounded out the Seaside scores, as all five Gulls finished in the top eight.
The tournament began May 6 at Quail Valley, with Seaside holding a 25-stroke lead (313-338) on the Valiants after one round.
“The winds came up today and pushed most scores higher than (Monday),” said Seaside coach Jim Poetsch, “Connor was able to tame the winds and had a great round today. Mason chipped in twice for birdie, hit some long putts and was playing well until one bad bounce and a couple of errant shots combined to bring him back to an average round.”
Kunde “was able to cut Carson’s lead down to three strokes after the front nine and at that point, after playing 207 holes for the season, they had taken the exact same amount of strokes for the year,” he said. “Samson also played well on the front and at one point I thought Carson was going to be both regional champion and our non-counting score for the day. We ended up with four players being recognized with a place on the all-regional team.”
Poetsch added, “I think Samson should also be announced to the team. It has always been the top 10 players, but they only announced five today. We now have a few days to fine tune our games and go see what we can accomplish next week.”
The Gulls set the tone for their tournament with a good showing in Monday’s round.
“It was a good first day,” Poetsch said after Day 1. “Carson started the day by dunking his second shot for an eagle and never looked back. I was really hoping he would make his putt for 69 on the last hole. Getting a new first digit on your score is usually a huge psychological accomplishment.
“As a team, we did exactly what we need to do to win tournaments,” he said. “We had a total of three double bogeys for the 90 holes we played today. As long as we keep from shooting worse than bogey, we are talented enough to throw some birdies and a whole bunch of pars out there to come in with a good team score.”