The word dynasty gets thrown around a lot. But the Eagle High boys golf team has earned the distinction.
The Mustangs have won six straight team titles at the state meet. With the state’s top golfer, Texas A&M commit Josh Gliege, returning, Eagle remains in the hunt for a seventh. But even Eagle coach Jeff Dunn said the team to beat this year hails from Rocky Mountain.
The Grizzlies won every event last season except for state, where they finished second. They return the state’s runner-up (Carson Barry), sixth-place finisher (Henry Bernard) and sophomore phenom Sam Tidd.
“I’d say we have a target (on our back), but there are lots of good kids out there,” Dunn said. “You have a good idea of who’s going where. But if I was pointing a finger, I’d definitely point it at purple.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Idaho Statesman
The 5A girls race is more crowded. Centennial returns four members from its third-place team at state last year, and all four are juniors. But Centennial coach Josh Aipperspach said Timberline, Eagle, Rocky Mountain and Mountain View all pose challenges.
GIRLS TO WATCH
KATIE CUDWORTH, TIMBERLINE
The senior took fourth at last year’s state tournament, five strokes behind Eagle’s Natalie Mullins. She qualified for the U.S. Girls Junior Championship last summer by finishing second at the qualifier at Ridgecrest.
KAITLYNN DEEBLE, CENTENNIAL
Long off the tee, the junior leads a loaded lineup for the Patriots. She took ninth at the state meet last year and has started drawing Division I interest, Aipperspach said.
KATHRYN WAGONER, MIDDLETON
The junior helped the Vikings win the team title last season, snapping Bishop Kelly’s streak of three straight titles. She finished fourth as an individual with back-to-back rounds of 86.
JESSICA LYTER, EMMETT
The senior lost the 3A state title on a playoff hole last year after shooting back-to-back 83s. She’s already won a pair of Snake River Valley meets, and she finished second at the Nampa Invitational, a tournament loaded with 5A and 4A schools.
BOYS TO WATCH
JOSH GLIEGE, EAGLE
The senior went wire-to-wire to win the state tournament last year, shooting a 7-under 65 on Day 2 to beat the field by seven strokes and finish 8-under. The Texas A&M signee also won the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Junior Championship last summer, and he’s qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and Junior PGA Championship each of the past three years.
CONNOR JOHNSTONE, VALLIVUE
The 2014 5A state champ has signed with Boise State. He fell to eighth last year at state, but he the senior spent the summer representing Idaho at the Junior Americas Cup and the Eddie Hogan Cup Team Matches.
SAM TIDD, ROCKY MOUNTAIN
Ranked second in the state and No. 155 in the nation by the Golfweek Junior Rankings, the sophomore has already committed to Oklahoma. He has plenty of big-tournament experience, winning the Junior Rocky Mountain PGA Championship as a 14-year-old to qualify for the national Junior PGA Championship.
HUNTER OSTROM, BISHOP KELLY
The Notre Dame signee has a pair of 4A state titles under his belt — as a freshman in 2013 and as a junior last year, when he shot a tournament-best 69 on the second day. He also owns two district titles (2014, ’15) and finished fifth at the Big “I” National Championship last summer.