ST. GEORGE – Desert Hills returns almost its entire golf team from a squad that won region last year and took third in the state.
“We’ve got four guys who can put up really good scores,” said senior Taylor Cummings, a four-year player who took second at state a year ago.
Despite their experience, some of the Thunder golfers are dealing with some unusual circumstances.
Cummings and Blake Amick traveled to Salt Lake City for a golf tournament two weeks ago. They arrived at midnight and woke up at 5 a.m. for their tee time. Sometime in between those hours, a thief broke into their car and stole their golf clubs.
Now both are playing with borrowed clubs, and Amick does not yet have a complete set of clubs.
But even the loss of his clubs can’t thwart the strength of Cummings’ game — his consistency.
“He’s the most consistent player I have,” Desert Hills coach Ron Denos said. “He doesn’t waiver. He’s always around par every time.”
In addition to having two players trying to adjust to new clubs, the Thunder have a player who decided to rejoin the golf team at the last moment in junior Bradley Wade.
Wade was one of the Top 5 golfers in the region as a freshman but made the decision to play football this fall.
But at the last moment, Wade, who hasn’t played golf this summer, had a change of heart.
“I just felt like playing golf was the right thing to do,” he said.
Denos said it will take time for Wade to get back into golfing form, but he’s confident he’ll make it happen.
“He definitely has the game, but he just needs to get back in the groove where he plays consistently,” Denos said.
Jorden Olsen also returns to the team after an impressive JAG season.
“He’s always been a very good player,” Denos said. “He’s gotten better as he’s learned to be mentally tougher. He’s always had the skill.”
Senior Carson Cannon and promising sophomore Cameron Plant also started on opening day for the Thunder on Wednesday at Sunbrook.
But behind them is a group of six players, any of whom could see time on varsity this season. That group consists of Justin Nance, Jordan Newby, Landon Carter, Logan Taylor, Jeremy Stocks and Tanner Taysom.
“There are guys right there competing for a spot, and that’s going to make everyone better,” Denos said.
That depth could be what pushes Desert Hills toward a championship.
“We probably have the deepest team in the league,” Denos said, “but there are some great players in this region. We’ve got to play to our potential. You can’t be off your game and expect to win in this region.”