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Foothill on display despite falling short as team

Officially, only Coronado and Green Valley qualified teams from the Sunrise Region for the Class 4A state golf tournament.

But Foothill might as well have sent its team, too.
The Falcons qualified four individual golfers for the tournament, which begins at noon on Monday at TPC Las Vegas. The Falcons contingent includes Sunrise champion Taylor Montgomery, who has a 73 stroke average as a freshman. Bailey Rogers, Larry Lopez and Connor Bodin will join Montgomery in competing for the top individual spot in 4A.
“The way I look at it is it’s always better to have the team go than individuals,” Foothill coach Paul DeSantis said. “And that’s been on our mind all year to qualify as a team. We feel like we came up short of a team goal. But it’s good for all these young guys to have the experience for next year.”
It’s a sharp contrast from last year, when then-sophomore Rogers was the only Foothill golfer at state.
“Bailey started off the year telling kids what it takes (to make state),” DeSantis said. “A lot of kids just come out there, and they don’t really know what it takes to make it to the next year. And I want our guys to be in the situation to be good — our league is so talented, the only way you could have a chance is if you’re out working and practicing.”
DeSantis calls the new individual competition “fun” for the young Falcons, who will return every state-qualifying player next year.
“Before, you’ve got to think about every shot, because you’re playing for the next guy,” DeSantis said.
“Now, the way we are at practice is I’m going one-on-one with the guys getting Bailey to beat Taylor, or Taylor to beat the rest of the field. I’ve taken a more one-on-one approach with those guys. I think it will be fun, because now they’re also competing against their teammates.”
Montgomery, who carded a 4-under-par 68 on the second day of the Sunrise Region tournament before edging Coronado’s A.J.
McInerney in a one-hole playoff, isn’t too upset about not making the tournament as a team — it just gives him another goal to accomplish as a sophomore.
“Hopefully next year we’ll get the whole team to state,” Montgomery said.

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