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by Mark Cheffey
The PHS boys golf team added a coveted state championship trophy to the school’s collection last Tuesday, winning the Class 2 title in Bolivar.
It was a unique championship for the school’s 11th overall, considering Palmyra was the only “team” in the running, but it was also well-deserved, with them dominating all the way.
“If they hadn’t won every tournament but one this season, I’d feel a little guilty, but these guys really deserved it,” said Coach Chris Parsons.
And, they showed how strong the team was at the state tournament played over two rounds at the Silo Ridge Golf Course in Bolivar.
Two Panthers, Jacob Webster (fourth) and Laydin Lochman (ninth), finished in the top 10 individually, while Brady Shively came in at 28th and Elijah Edwards, 46th, out of 74 total golfers, making for a formidable team effort under normal circumstances.
“I was really proud of how they played,” Parsons said.
The team put out a consistent effort with three of the four golfers topping their first-day scores during the second round.
Webster finished the first round in sixth place with an 80, but jumped up two spots with a second-round best score of 73, tied with two others.
Lochman ended the first day in eighth place with an 81, and fell just one spot down with an 85 the next day.
Shively was in 38th place with a 95 in the first round, but shot an 87 the next day to finish 10 places better.
Edwards shot identical rounds of 96 to finish 46th.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association this past year, decided to stream-line the state tournaments and in the process altered the way teams can qualify for state.
“I talked to someone with MSHSAA about it and they said they knew it was possible for just one team to qualify for state, but didn’t think it could would really happen,” Parsons said.
And Parsons wasn’t just blowing smoke about the team’s regular season. They did win every tournament but one, including the conference and district tournaments, often in dominant fashion.
And, their one loss came by one stroke at the Hannibal Invitational April 16, when they topped the host team, which featured this year’s Class 4 state champion player, Quinn Thomas.
“We were focused on beating Hannibal, and then Troy slipped in there and beat us by one stroke,” Parson said.
Palmyra boys golf teams have come close to winning state titles in the past.
Palmyra took third in Class 2 in 2018 and second in 2017.