Centennial aiming to bring home championship

Centennial’s boys golf team shed a large monkey from its back last week.

The Bulldogs are hoping to replace it with a Class 4A state title.

Centennial is making its first trip to the state tournament, set for today and Tuesday at TPC Las Vegas.

“The curse is over,” said Centennial junior Zach Chyz, who was the medalist at the Sunset Region tournament last week with a 71. “We had always choked at regionals.”

The Bulldogs tied Palo Verde with a score of 390 last week at Red Rock Country Club, but lost the region title on a tiebreaker. But the top two teams in the region advanced to state.

“That’s a tremendous confidence boost for our team,” Bulldog coach Greg Bohls said. “It was a good experience for them to battle at regionals the way they did. We hope to carry that on into state.”

Centennial should have as good of a shot as any of the six teams in the field. The Bulldogs’ top four golfers all average better than 80, and all shot in the 70s at the regional meet.

Chyz led the way at regionals, but Greg Kerber was only three strokes behind with a 74. Mark Bachmeier (78) and Jake Barton (79) also played well.

“Our top four has been a toss-up each match,” Bohls said. “We never know which one of them is going to be the top man. They’ve been there for us all year.”

James Newman is a capable fifth scorer.

Teams play six golfers in a round, with the best five scores counting toward the team total.

“Our fifth man has been in there at times, too,” Bohls said. “We’re definitely going in there confident.”

Palo Verde is making its seventh trip to state in the past eight years and is coming off a fifth-place finish last year.

The Panthers’ six golfers all shot 80 or better at the regional meet.

Palo Verde senior Chris Viravongsa tied for sixth last last year at state.

Coronado and Green Valley are making their annual pilgrimage to the event, with both teams earning state bids every year since the schools opened.

Green Valley was fourth and Coronado sixth last year

The Gators were the state champions in 2005, the last time a southern school won the Class 4A crown.

Defending champion Spanish Springs and Galena round out the state field.

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