It's tee time. The Mingus golf team kicked off the season with a second-place finish against Page, Flagstaff and Sinagua on at the Sedona Golf Resort.
Page finished in first place with a total of 175, with their No. 1 golfer finishing the par-37 course in 38 strokes. Mingus finished second with 180, just beating out Flagstaff and Sinagua, which tied for third with 181 apiece.
Seniors and co-captains Pat Moran and Alex Ronyak led the Marauders on the greens.
During the four-team match, Moran shot an impressive 43 and he is still recovering from knee surgery. Ronyak, who is considered the most improved on the team by Coach John Uidenich, hit a 44 on the par 37 course.
"Alex is very capable," said Coach Uidenich. "He was all confidence and smiles."
Juniors Nick Muelhausen and Josh Sauntman add much-needed depth to the team. Muelhausen hit a 42 on the course, which kept Mingus' top three very close. Sauntman, who played JV last year, knocked his first shot into the lake, but recovered nicely to sink a 60-foot put on the 9th hole to end things on a high note.
Rounding out the top five is Ryan Roland, a sophomore who has worked hard this summer to improve his game. This was his first varsity match and he shot a 52.
"This year's format has changed. Instead of the top five golfers' scores being counted, only the top four do now," said coach Uidenich.
It turns out that if they would have counted the top five, Roland would have beat Page's No. 5 golfer and Mingus would have taken the match.
"I am very pleased with them," said Uidenich. "They kept their composure and played smart."
Even though Uidenich has a very small varsity group, they are a dedicated bunch.
"I have never had a group with so much heart," said Uidenich.
With some inexperience and injuries, these athletes are pulling through for the team and having a great start to the season.
Last year's team missed out on going to State, even though they had finished second in the region.
Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8-9, the Marauders travel to the Mohave Invite to show what they can do. Then they go to Buckeye on Sept. 12 before returning back home for the Mingus Invite at the Sedona Golf Resort on Sept. 14.