Wildcat boys’ golf finishes strong season

Mount Si's boys golf team had a successful first season this fall under new coach Brandon Proudfoot. The future looks bright as well, as a couple of juniors emerged as potential top threats next season.

The Wildcats went 6-1 and won the league championship behind the solid efforts of their top senior, Jack Kelly, who was the lone Mount Si player to advance to state following a tough league and district postseason. Kelly opened the year by finishing with the best score in two of the first three contests the Wildcats competed in, against Liberty and Bellevue.

But as noted before, two juniors also made some noise this season. One, Mitchel Gardunia, finished with the team's best individual score in two matches - one of which earned him a medalist award for best overall score of the match, and the other, Sean Ballsmith, also took home a medalist award for the best individual score during the Wildcats' September 23 contest against Lake Washington.

Balance was a key factor throughout the season; in addition to Kelly, Ballsmith and Gardunia, senior Brandon Snyder also earned a medalist award for a solid score at Mount Si's September 27 match against Interlake.

Kelly, Snyder, Gardunia and Ballsmith were joined by teammates Wesley Nelson and Cooper Helm as the Wildcat postseason contingent at the league tournament earlier this month with three of the six making districts, and a fourth, Nelson, finishing strong and grabbing an alternate spot.

Kelly, Snyder and Ballsmith advanced to districts, with Kelly making the state tournament and Snyder barely missing punching his own ticket; he shot a round of 80 on the Harbour Pointe Golf Course in Mukilteo October 18, one shot off the cut line of 79.

Kelly was pleased with how the season went. "It was a good year because it's a fresh start for the Mount Si golf program with coach Brandon Proudfoot. He's got the program going in the right direction," Kelly said. He added, with him moving on to college next season, he feels comfortable about the place this program is in. "I think I left the program in good shape," Kelly said.

Proudfoot was also pleased. “Every player on the squad greatly improved throughout the short season. The players should all be commended for their massive efforts this fall,” the coach said. “Their work ethic is what I’m banking on to elevate Mount Si Golf to a powerhouse team. Now the key to our continued success rests on the golfers continuing to strive to get better in the off season.”

That is likely, as both Gardunia and Ballsmith competed on this summer's Washington Junior Golf Association summer tour, and it is expected both of them will be back for another go-round next summer. In addition, other offseason tournaments will likely be on the schedule for these two, further enhancing their credentials going into 2011.

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