Kwalikum Secondary School’s golf team can add provincial champions to their resume, and the gym gets another banner.
In the mix at the 14-team B.C. School Sports AA Provincial Championships, played out in wet conditions at Arbutus Ridge Golf & Country Club May 27-28 in Cobble Hill, the Kondors were sitting first with a one-stroke lead after day one, and went on to win the tournament with a two-round team total of 624 — eight strokes up on the second place Shawnigan Lake Stags, and 15 strokes ahead of the third place St. Thomas More Knights who went into the tourney as three-time defending champions.
According to KSS coach Butch Gayton, conditions were very wet, which made for a soggy course.
“It’s very hard to make solid contact with the ball when it’s like that — there’s mud all over the ball they’re partially sunk (in the fairways).”
The wind was up on day one, and the rain he said, “was continuous — it was a deluge both days,” he said, explaining “’ya got slippery clubs, you’re wearing too many clothes, it was just really tough conditions.”
The stage was set on day one when the Kondors, comprised of senior Scott Austin, Grade 11’s Santiago Bouyra and Cole Morrison, and Grade 9’s Anthony Trozzo and Blair Stewart, finished one point up on Shawnigan Lake at 306-307, while the rest of the field, including the Knights, from Burnaby, “all basically shot themselves in the foot and out of contention.
“Knowing that were only competing against Shawnigan Lake, it was a very stressful situation,” said Gayton.
Not to worry though, the Kondors won three of their five matches against the Stags, clearing the way for the provincial title.
“The difference between us and everyone else is we had five solid scores — everybody else had three solid scores and then they had to count a very big number for their fourth,” said Gayton.
When Kwalikum’s top player, Bouyra, teed off on the final hole, his team was up by nine strokes “but remember, he doesn’t know that, and that’s the key.” said Gayton, who got help coaching this year from assistant Richard Goldney.
“The guys were jumping and down, they were definitely happy,” he said when asked about the reaction from his team after they learned they’d won the title.
KSS finished the season having won six of the eight tournaments they entered,m including the Island finals and the B.C.’s.
Team captain Scotty Austin, in his final tournament of the year, “was the difference maker for us” said Gayton as he blasted his counterpart from Shawnigan Lake by nine strokes “which gave us a nine stroke lead coming into our two best golfers.”
“Everything in the world is better now,” Gayton said when asked how it feels to be provincial champs. “It’s a huge monkey off the back — actually it’s a large ape,” he chuckled, explaining it adds to the provincial banner they won 25 years ago.