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Glencoe boys finish historic golf season


As you have probably noticed, May is an extremely busy month when it comes to Hillsboro sports, especially when it comes to preps.

The Pacific Conference staged its district golf and tennis tournaments two weeks ago, and state competitions took place last week. Baseball and softball playoffs currently are midway through their runs, and track and field reaches its zenith this week with all six classifications converging on Hayward Field in Eugene today and tomorrow for the state meet.

Given the abundance of activity and our small sports staff, we at the Hillsboro Tribune have had to make some tough choices regarding coverage. And then there are cases like last week, when one story that we were following did not quite make it into the newspaper, but I feel it is still worth visiting.

We have written a fair amount this spring about the Glencoe boys golf team. The Crimson Tide had a banner season, winning the Pacific Conference title — and running the table in all league tournaments — as well as producing the conference’s medalist in Connor Tripp.

What you may not know is that historic season concluded in fine fashion last week when the Crimson Tide finished in a tie for fifth place in the Class 6A state tournament in Corvallis.

Competing in a deep field, Glencoe shot a 39-over-par 615 over two days at Trysting Tree Golf Club, tying with Canby. Lake Oswego repeated as champion with a 1-under 575, followed by Westview (585), Jesuit (597) and Central Catholic (611). Individually, Westview senior Nick Baines shot a 6-under 138 to capture medalist honors by five strokes over Lake Oswego brothers Clayton and Cole Madey and Lakeridge’s Jake Reiff, who all shot 143.

Glencoe coach Tim Duvall was pleased with the outcome.

“We talked about trying to finish in the top six, and we really, I think, exceeded those expectations by finishing tied for fifth,” Duvall told me last week. “So it was pretty solid golf the last two weeks, with the district tournament, performing well there, and then going down to Trysting (last Monday) and (Tuesday).”

That tie for fifth was the best finish in school history. In fact, it blew all prior appearances — and there have only been a few — out of the water.

The Tide took 10th place in Class 5A in 2007 and 2009, and 11th in Class 6A a year ago. A week after locking up the Pacific Conference tournament and overall league titles, the squad shot a 311 on the first day of state and followed up with a 304 on the second day — a score Duvall believed to be his team’s best of the year.

“It was a great effort by the guys. We’re really proud of them,” Duvall said. “They put together a couple good days of golf. By finishing in a tie for fifth, that’s the best team finish in school history, so they accomplished another team first for Glencoe by going down there and finishing in the top five. So that’s pretty exciting.”

Duvall’s son, Jared Duvall, posted the best score by a Glencoe player at state, shooting a matching pair of 2-over 74s to end up with a 148 and a 10th-place result, good for the final spot on the all-tournament team. His placement was the second-best ever by a Tide golfer, and he was just the second player in school history to finish in the top 10. Tim Cruikshank tied for sixth place in both 1985 and 1986.

“That was exciting for him. Obviously, being his father, I’m really proud of him for that ... as an individual, and also being his coach,” Tim Duvall said. “Being named to the all-tournament team, that was really neat for him, and a pretty solid two days for him — 74-74.”

Of course Tim Duvall was thrilled for his son. But in my conversations with Tim over the course of the season, I found him to express equal enthusiasm for and pride in all of his players. By now he knows them well, as he has had the luxury the past two seasons of working with the same five varsity players — in addition to Jared Duvall and Tripp (31st at state, 154), they are Ethan Zickel (tied for 34th, 156), Nick Karich (tied for 39th, 157) and Hayden Vetter (tied for 65th, 165).

Those boys have competed against each other in practice and for each other in tournaments these past two years. Tripp, Zickel, Karich and Jared Duvall took turns earning medalist honors at tournaments this season, and amazingly, they also finished league play ranked in the top five of the overall individual standings.

And in the end, along with Vetter, they helped take Glencoe boys golf to heights the program had never reached before. For the four seniors on the team — only Jared Duvall, a junior, will be back in 2014 — that is a pretty great way to conclude a high school career.

The conclusion of the Duvall-Tripp-Zickel-Karich-Vetter era left Tim Duvall a little wistful. And understandably so.

“They’ve all been together, and they’re all good friends,” he said about his team. “They do a lot outside of golf, too. For them to finish off like this, it’s really a cool deal, and it’s happy and sad all at once.”

But not too sad, I hope. After all, they made great strides together, created a little school history and will forever be linked by what they accomplished.

And those are indeed things to be happy about.