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Lake Oswego returns three individuals who finished in the top-six at state last year

by: VERN UYETAKE - Riley Elmes returns for the Laker boys golf team this year. He took sixth in state last spring. The Lake Oswego boys golf dynasty doesn't appear to be going away any time soon. In fact, when it's all said and done, this may end up being the most dominant stretch by any sports team in the school's history.

The Lakers have won three of the last four state titles and enter this spring as two-time defending champions. And despite graduating one of its top players from last year's team, Lake Oswego is one of the heavy favorites for this year's crown as well.

Lake Oswego already made a statement in the opening tournament of the year, winning the Tualatin Invitational in impressive fashion.

The Lakers won by 23 strokes over second-place West Linn and had four golfers finish in the top-five individually.

“Last year we didn't start off very well and ended up tying with Sunset. This year we wanted to really prepare and send a message,” coach Jason Owens said.

Cole Madey returns for the Lakers. He finished in a tie for second place individually with his brother, Clayton, last year. Clayton Madey has graduated and Cole figures to be the team's top golfer this year although there is little separation between the team's top-three.

Alex Wrenn is also back and finished in a tie for medalist honors with Madey at the Tualatin Invitational.

Wrenn was fifth in state last year, just ahead of teammate Riley Elmes who is also returning to the Laker team.

“We'll mix and match those guys in tournaments. They don't really care what position they play in,” Owens said.

When you bring back three golfers who finished in the top-six at state the previous spring, it's tough not to be optimistic.

“Honestly I think three or four of our top guys could finish in the top-five and challenge for the state title,” Owens said.

And the Lakers have plenty of depth. Sophomore Brock Anderson also had a very solid opening tournament for Lake Oswego and is firmly in place as the team's No. 4 golfer.

Owens likes to keep the fifth varsity spot open each week to give his players a chance to earn the position and a pair of freshmen and a sophomore have all been very strong this year and could make a significant impact.

Kendall Kintzinger was the Lakers' No. 5 golfer in the Tualatin Invitational.

While the Laker golfers play year round, the team is rounding into shape for the season and looking forward to its competition.

The Three Rivers League should be as tough as it's been in years with West Linn and Lakeridge each fielding strong squads.

Jesuit should also give the team a challenge at state. Lake Oswego opens up the regular season in two weeks playing at Rose City Golf Course in Portland.

The state tournament will be at Quail Valley this year where the Lakers took second behind Jesuit three years ago.

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