Scott Ptach will be one of three varsity players expected to return to the team when the Steamboat Springs High School golf team starts practice at 9 a.m. Monday at Haymaker Golf Course.

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Scott Ptach will be one of three varsity players expected to return to the team when the Steamboat Springs High School golf team starts practice at 9 a.m. Monday at Haymaker Golf Course.

SSHS golf team starts Monday as 3 varsity golfers return

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— The Steamboat Springs High School golf team's season begins Monday, a week before the rest of the fall sports practices start.

The Sailors open practice at 9 a.m. at Haymaker Golf Course. The team will play rounds Monday and Aug. 12, with a skills challenge and rules test slated for Tuesday. A parent and player meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the high school, and the team's first tournament of the season is Aug. 13 at Battlement Mesa Golf Club.

The Sailors have had informal workouts throughout the summer in preparation for what could be a big year.

"We have (played), of course, but it's like open gyms," assistant coach Scott Berry said. "We've been working with some of the kids."

Steamboat should be in position to make a push to qualify for the state meet as a team. In addition to returning varsity players Scott Ptach, Kaelen Gunderson and Alan Capistron, the team has home course advantage for the regional tournament.

The Class 3A and 4A regional tournament will be held at Haymaker on Sept. 22. A practice round will be played Sept. 21. The team also hosts its regular season invitational Sept. 9.

Haymaker isn't new to hosting big high school tournaments, as the course played host to the regional tournament in 2002 and the state tournament in 2007.

"We'll have a bunch of kids battling for the four, five and six spots on the varsity," coach Steve Dodson said. "Some of them will even be pushing the three on the varsity from last year. There's not a lot of security, but it's a great problem to have."

Dodson said he'd use the 18-hole rounds Monday and Aug. 12, as well as Tuesday's skills challenge and rules test, to decide whom he will take to Thursday's tournament at Battlement Mesa. Ptach will not make the trip, because he is in Switzerland for a ski camp.

Dodson has a good idea who his top eight or 10 golfers will be, but said one of the strengths of this year's team is its depth.

"It will be fun to see them grind it out," Dodson said. "Every year you go through this process. It's the nature of the beast. Kids graduate and other kids enter the program. The sophomores and juniors have an opportunity to step up and display their talent. Hopefully they've been working on their games during the summer. It should be fun to watch."

Anyone with questions about the program or interested in trying out for the team should contact Dodson at 846-4223.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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