Mount Si golfers hunting for state championship

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Golf coach Garrick Phillips is riding high among coaching

circles these days after placing fifth in state with boys basketball and third in

state with boys golf last year.

But this year, the expectation is that he will finally get to hang a

state championship plaque on his wall for coaching this year's golf team

at Mount Si. Expectations for the team are high, with six players

returning from last year's championship-caliber group.

"The kids have that expectation of winning the state championship

this year. I don't want to make it sound like that if we don't, I will be

disappointed in my kids," said Phillips. "That's

not the case."

Leading the pack of players will be senior Sean Fallows, who put in

a strenuous summer of play to prepare for this year's team. Fallows

finished second in the Washington Junior Golf Association's district tournament

and took sixth in the state tournament.

Backing up Fallows on the greens is junior Sean Armstrong.

Armstrong took honors in Kingco last season, scoring with an average of 34.8

strokes per nine-hole match.

Depth is the key to this Wildcat team when comparing it to

other KingCo teams. Erik Larson, a junior, whose father is the pro at Tall

Chief Golf Course in Fall City, will likely add several medallist honors to

his record. Derek Lee, also from last year's squad, is a seasoned player,

as are Aaron Svarthumle and David Labelle.

But beyond the six returners from last year are five newcomers who

will have a chance to notch varsity scores: Brandon Proudfoot, a junior,

Brett Fallows, a sophomore and younger brother to Sean, Jay-Michael

Johnson, a senior, Andy Divers, a sophomore and Travis Anderson a senior.

"We have 12 strong golfers this year," said Phillips. "They changed

our league around. All 10 players can play for a varsity score this year which

is more opportunity for our players and a benefit to us because we have a

really deep team."

The Wildcats are also a cohesive team in what many term as an

individual sport. "Fallows and Armstrong have done a good job of reaching

out and helping the younger kids, making them feel accepted,

especially," Phillips said. "They have been

around and have played in a lot of tournaments."

Guiding his team to a state championship is never far from his

mind, though. "It will make it a lot easier

if we could get four or five people into the state tournament to take first,"

he said.

But KingCo is a tough league again this year. "Mercer Island has

a pretty good team again this year," said Phillips. "Newport will be

pretty strong. Bellevue has another good team this year. We play Newport

and Mercer Island away, but we play Bellevue at home, and that will be

an advantage for us. They were the only team that beat us last year. We had

to play them at Overlake Country Club, which is a private course, so that

was tough."

Last year's top team, Lakeside, lost one of its top players. Seattle Prep

finished second in front of the `Cats at the state championship.

However, Wildcats beat both teams in district play, a good indication that Mount

Si will be one of the top teams to beat through the fall.

At a glance:

Coach: Garrick Phillips, second year.

Top returners: Sean Fallows, senior, Erik Larson, junior,

Sean Armstrong, junior, Derek Lee, junior, Aaron Svarthumle, senior,

David Labelle, senior.

Top newcomers: Brandon Proudfoot, junior, Brett Fallows,

sophomore, Jay-Michael Johnson, senior, Andy Divers, sophomore,

Travis Anderson, senior.

Last year's record: 10-1, first-place finish in KingCo 3A,

first-place finish in districts, and third in state.

Varsity golfers returning from playoff

team: all six.

Outlook: Mount Si has the talent to be the state champs.

Foregoing any overconfidence, team members should realize that goal and

give Garrick another trophy to put on his wall as a coach. Fallows and

Armstrong should take medallist honors at most matches.

Mount Si golfers hunting for state championship

Boys' Golf Schedule:

Contest starting times: May be different for each course and school.

Home matches played at Mount Si Golf Course.

Bold indicates home matches.

Sept. 7, at Mercer Island

Sept. 11, Issaquah

Sept. 14, at Newport

Sept. 18, Sammamish

Sept. 21, at Interlake

Sept. 25, Cedarcrest

Sept. 28, Bellevue

Oct. 2, at Skyline

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