The Mingus Union golf team wrapped up its season with a 4th place finish in the 4A II Grand Canyon Region golf meet at the Continental Country Club in Flagstaff on Oct. 30-31.
Ryan Roland led the Marauders with an overall 8th place (87-86 173). Richard Paynter followed right behind in 9th (90-85 175) and Travis Duwyenie placed 10th overall (91-85 176). Rounding out the top five golfers for Mingus was Mike Rebstein and Dillon Fielitz.
"Everyone left shots out there," said coach Craig Mai. "We felt it was going to be toss up for the second spot, but we didn't play up to level to pull that off."
One major factor in the Marauders' result in region was the absence of the team's No. 3 golfer, Wally Wilburn. Wilburn had an accident with his motorcycle just days before the region tournament and wasn't able to compete.
"He was our No. 3 and that really hurt us. With Wally, as a team we had some wiggle room in case someone had a bad day. But with him gone, we didn't have any room for errors."
Only the top two teams from the region advanced to state, which belonged to Sinagua, the Grand Canyon Region Champs, and Flagstaff in No. 2. The top five individual golfers overall, not from those two teams, also made their way to the State Meet. Roland, Paynter and Duwyenie qualified individually and represented Mingus and the region at Sundance Golf Course in Buckeye, AZ.
The trio had a pretty good day on the first day of the competition in Buckeye. Ryan Roland led the Marauders with an 81 on the first day. Paynter followed closely behind, shooting an 84 on the first day. Duwyenie also had a strong first day with an 86 on the 18-hole course.
The good fortune and skilled playing was replaced on the second day with more swings for the Mingus trio, whose scores came in higher and all three ended up the tournament scattered in the middle of the pack.
Roland shot an 88 on the second day and ended the meet with a 169. Paynter shot a 94 for a 178 total score and Duwyenie shot a 96 on the second day for a final score of 182.
"This year, Ryan did really good the first day (81) and had a really good shot of making the top 10," said coach Craig Mai. "They all struggled and played worse the second day. This was Travis and Richard's first time at State, and hadn't played on that golf course before. It's just golf ... some days you have it, some days you don't. Unfortunately, all three didn't have it on day two."
Last year, Roland was the only Mingus golfer to make it to the State meet. He finished with a score of 103-89 192. He improved by 23 strokes in one year, which was impressive.
The coach Mai and the team went into this season with three goals.
"Etiquette and behavior and attitude in practice," said coach Mai. "I am proud of them, they represented myself, the golf program, Mingus and the community very well. I received many compliments from other coaches on how our kids carried themselves. It is an important thing to me."
The second goal was to improve every week.
"You couldn't necessarily see that in the scores, but I feel that we improved over the year. It's hard to see the improvement in the top guys, but they became more consistent and we could count on them. The guys in the middle really showed improvement. Those guys in the middle, because they had improved, kept the team in the game. There's no way to think about coming in second in the region Travis [Duwyenie], Mike [Rebstein], Dillon [Fielitz], Jazmine [Roland], JC Lawler and Dalton Malone. They really pushed each other and every week they got better and more consistent. They really improved every week.
The third goal was for the team to make it to State. Although as a team they fell short, the Marauders did send three out of the five possible individual golfers. No other school was able to do the same.
"Richard and Travis are both juniors. They have had a taste of it now. Richard is excited about getting right back to it, making changes to his swing and wants to be one of the guys playing late for some hardware at State," said coach Mai.
Because of their top 10 finish, Roland, Paynter and Duwyenie all earned 2nd Team All Region honors. Dillon Fielitz earned Honorable Mention.
"It was nice for him [Fielitz] to get Honorable Mention," said coach Mai. "He wasn't able to qualify for State and did a really nice job for us."