Waukee’s season ended with a fourth-place finish at the district golf meet in Pleasant Hill on Tuesday.
As a result, the state meet field will be without a Waukee golfer for the first time since 2006 when play begins on Friday at Hunters Ridge Golf Course in Marion.
With the top three teams at each district advancing out of districts, the Warriors carded a team score of 311. Des Moines Roosevelt won with a 303, Dowling Catholic was second with a 309 and host Southeast Polk scooped up the final qualifier with a 310.
“We were in the only district tournament that had four of the top eight schools in the state,” coach John Kotz said. “When that happens, a team deserving of being in the state tournament is not going to be there.”
Parker Howe finished fifth overall with a 76, one stroke short of qualifying individually for state. Aaron DeNucci and Tripp Kinney carded 78s, Connor Littlefield and Luke Fegen had 79s, and Tom McLaughlin carded an 80.
“Our scores weren’t terrible,” Kotz said. “We make no excuses other than we didn’t prepare well enough.”
Waukee entered as the top-ranked team after a season in which it lost only two meets, a regular-season matchup against Southeast Polk, and a second-place finish at the conference golf meet on Oct. 2.
“We’re proud of our regular season record and our accomplishments,” Kotz said. “I told our players as we were riding back to Waukee that there is a ton of talent sitting in the van with me, and they need to remember how hard they worked for the past year and how painful this loss is.
“I let them down and they can expect me to do better next year.”
The Warriors finished three strokes behind West Des Moines Valley at the Central Iowa Conference tournament at The Legacy Golf Club in Norwalk last week. Kinney carded a 1-over 73 to lead Waukee with a third-place finish, while Littlefield and McLaughlin finished with 74s. DeNucci added a 75, Howe a 77 and Logan Floyd a 79. All six came away with all-conference recognition.