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Waukee defeats defending champs in season opener

The Waukee boys’ golf team took down the defending state champion Ankeny Centennial on Aug. 15 with a score of 149-158. Senior Aaron DeNucci fired a (-2) 34 to lead the Warriors and claim medalist honors. Senior Parker Howe managed an even par round of 36 to claim runner-up medalist honors. Junior Tripp Kinney added a 39, while sophomore Andrew O’Brien shot 40. The Warriors keep their winning streak over Ankeny Centennial unblemished since the school opened last year. The Waukee boys’ golf team has not lost to the Jaguars in the past two years.

“It was a great chance for us to gauge how prepared we are out of the gate. Going to the home course of the Jaguars and coming away with a decisive win is good for our psyche to start the season,” said Waukee coach John Kotz. “We have some unanswered questions on this team. We went with a lineup that was new to us, but came out with a positive result. We have some work to do on the putting green. Some of that was attributed to the wet surface of the greens, but we need to get the speed down sooner in the round. Nine hole meets are a hard deal. If a player gets off track anywhere in the round, it’s hard to recover with a decent score. I’m proud of our guys on how they went into the den of the Jaguars and took care of business. It was a good start for us. Now we can move on to tournament play.”

The Warriors return five of six letterwinners from last year. The team that ended up 89-5 in 2013, which is the best regular season record in school history. Waukee will travel to the Linn Mar Invitational on Aug. 18th and face Cedar Rapids Kennedy who finished second at last year’s Class 4A state tournament and also has five returning starters back.

Linn-Mar

Waukee returned to the Linn Mar Invitational to defend their 2013 title.

Tripp Kinney saw to it that his effort would make sure the Warriors defended the title. Kinney fired a tournament low, (-3) 69 to win tournament medalist honors and lead the warriors to a first place finish.

Waukee fired a 305 at Hunters’ Ridge Golf Course in Marion. Several central Iowa teams attended the tournament. Besides Waukee, Johnston and Dowling Catholic were also in the 13-team field.

The Warriors 305 score topped top-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy by one stroke.

“We really wanted to travel to the eastern side of the state to see how we stacked up against those teams,” Kotz said. “Other than Tripp, we didn’t play extremely well. Granted, conditions were windy and the pins were tucked in some tough spots. Our players felt they should have scored better. It’s nice to know that we can still win without everyone shooting their best, as long as one of them leads the way with a low score. We talked about how 50 percent of our meets last year were decided by one stroke. Lo’ and behold this tournament come down to one stroke. This was a good experience early in the season. You never know what it’s going to take to win the team score. We just need to strive to do our best every time out.”

The Warriors had five of six players score to achieve the winning team score. Senior Aaron DeNucci managed a 77 on the par 72 course. Sophomore Andrew O’Brien came through with a 78. Senior Parker Howe and junior Tom McLaughlin added scores of 81.

The Warriors see action again on Aug. 26th when they host SE Polk in a CIC eastern division showdown at Beaver Creek GC.

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