By SCOTT COLEMAN, Four Points News
The sustained excellence at Vandegrift’s storied golf program only grew at this week’s UIL state tournament as the school’s boys squads captured first-place and third-place finishes, as well as a historically best runner-up finish by the Vipers’ girls team at Wolfdancer Golf Resort in Cedar Creek.
Two under-par rounds of 285 and 287 gave Vandegrift an insurmountable lead and the boys Black Team notched a 47-shot victory over second-place San Antonio-Alamo Heights in Class 5A thanks to the team of Cooper Dossey, Tobin Niblett, Brandon Hoff, Lucas Mylet, and Daniel Martinez.
“Remarkable performance… couldn’t have scripted a better finish to the season,” said VHS golf coach Matt Wernecke.
Cooper Dossey secured the individual title by a margin of eight strokes with rounds of 66-69, leading the five Viper boys who all finished in the top 14 in solo competition.
Vandegrift’s boys Silver Team were awarded bronze medals in a remarkable outcome for the school’s B team. Shooting the second-best overall score on day two of 308 saw the secondary squad storm up the team leaderboard, ultimately finishing in third place.
Luke Dossey led the way with a top 10 individual finish after rounds of 78 and 75, setting the pace for the team of Foster Givens, Dalton Doerr, Jacob Rockefeller, and Wyatt Speaks.
“The goal at the start of the season was to get the team to State and once we were there, it was about getting a medal,” said Wernecke. “Couldn’t be more proud of these guys.”
The Lady Vipers’ Black Team battled through a fierce course marred by early morning rain storms at Wolfdancer to grab silver medals with scores of 321 and 338. The girls Black team fell to Humble-Kingwood Park by 51 shots.
The runner-up position is the girls program’s all-time best result at the State tournament.
“The goal starting the year was to challenge for a state title. Bringing home a second-place finish is a great way to wrap up a solid season,” Wernecke said.
Hailey Derrickson’s 76-79 two-day scores led her team of Sophia di Gesualdo, Story Shaw, Jensen Jalufka, and Sarah Rovenstine as she finished fifth in individual standings.
The girls’ Silver Team had a stellar showing as well, tallying scores of 353 and 367 to end the tourney in a tie with McKinney High for eighth place.
Jordan Jalufka’s 84-87 finish led Sarah Beemer, Abbie Dunn, Halle Huang, and Kelsey Fess on the second team in individual scoring.
“The girls gained a lot of valuable experience this year, from top to bottom,” said Wernecke. “This year’s team was probably the hardest working team I’ve ever had on the girls side, it showed up big time for the (playoff) run.”
This year’s wide success for Vandegrift golf has the teams looking forward to next year.
“Next season will be a different change since we jump to 6A,” Wernecke explained. “When it comes to district, region, state, there is a lot more depth in 6A, so the demand to play well is increased. We have plenty of talent and good young players coming back, I think we have the pieces to make some noise.”
Photos by Scott W. Coleman