Hillcrest boys golf team shooting to make stateSep 08, 2023 11:48AM ● By Julie Slama
Hillcrest High senior Keaton Glover hits the ball off the first tee during the Aug. 16 tournament. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
Hillcrest High’s boys’ golf coach is cautiously optimistic about his team’s chances this season.
“We could be pretty good if everybody plays as they did at tryouts and get those scores in tournaments,” coach Dave Richardson said about the 14 members who made the school’s team.
Their season kicked off on a hot Aug. 16 morning, facing all six teams in their new region, 4A region 10. The varsity squad was led by seniors Keaton Glover, Rhett Robinson, Matt Miller, Camden Lampshire and Isaac Stalberger; juniors Alex Lopez and Max Schramm; and sophomore Miles Morgan.
“(We have) lots of potential this year,” Richardson said. “Our juniors give us depth so I have hope for next year. They’re pretty good players and they’re committed and that makes a huge difference.”
Early season indicates Park City High may be the team to beat, but Richardson sees good golfers on all the teams. He also likes his team’s chances.
“For the first time in a long time, we look pretty strong. Instead of just having instead one good golfer, I’ve got a bunch this year. We have a solid top four or five guys. I’m excited,” he said. “This is the best chance I’ve had in a long time for the team to make state.”
The team has six more tournaments and several nine-hole duals before region on Oct. 2 at The Ridge Golf Course in West Valley City. State is at the same course on Oct. 11-12.
During the season, he will adjust the varsity team as players improve.
“Those JV kids are fighting for a spot on varsity so if they’re getting a good score at a dual, they have a chance to move up,” he said. “Our season is short and compact and starts immediately after tryouts, so the players have to get out and practice over the summer. We have a lot of players who are out playing baseball in the summer so it’s hard for them to get in some rounds.”
Miller, who shot well in an early season scrimmage, is one of those players who is a two-sport athlete. He had returned the night before the first tournament from a baseball-related trip and was a few strokes off his usual score.
“I plan to be back on the range and the course this week so I can shoot lower next week,” he said. “We had some good scores today. Alex shot well, in the 70s. I think we’re going to be pretty good. We had some nerves in this first tournament, but we have a solid group of core players.”
Miller took up golf at age 10, using borrowed clubs and learning the game from his Uncle Val. His first competitive play was his freshman year at Hillcrest under Richardson.
“He helped me change my swing from a baseball swing to a golf swing,” Miller said. “He taught me that I’m not a good enough golfer to get mad every time. I’m just very competitive.”
As an honors student who one day wants to enter the medical or business field as a career, Miller enrolls in concurrent enrollment, and takes advanced placement and international baccalaureate classes. He has studied in the medical pathway program at nearby Canyons Technical Education Center.
He also has played on varsity alongside these players all four years and has his sights for the team to finish in the top three at region. Personally, he wants to improve upon his best score of 85.
“Our guys are solid up on top. They practice a whole lot more and are serious about this sport. I focus more on baseball and want to play in college, but I like golf and I enjoy playing nice courses and hanging out. As a team, we’re pretty close; we will play a round sometimes when we don’t have practice or a tournament or we’ll play pickleball,” he said, adding that in all three sports his favorite part is “hitting the ball hard. We have a fun time together.” λ