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State tournaments tee off this week

The best high school golfers in the state are gathering this week at Soldier Hollow for the state championships.

Both the 5A and 2A competitors will play today and Tuesday, followed by 4A and 3A on Wednesday and Thursday. The play will begin at 9 a.m. daily and is free to spectators.

Hopefully, Mother Nature will cooperate and provide good weather.

There are some favorites in each class, and for 5A the big dog is certainly the Fremont Silverwolves. Coming off their fifth straight region title, the Silverwolves hope to claim their second state title in three years.

"Our top four golfers are the best we've ever had, and we've had some great players here," said Fremont coach Bryce Ballif. "But they gotta go get it; they've talked about a little redemption from last year's second-place finish. That's been the goal in the back of their mind."

Ballif knows that challenge of keeping one's cool at the state tournament. "We try to keep it simple. We can't think about scores, we have to be in the moment, thinking about the next shot ahead of us. We talk about that before every match, one shot at a time."

The Silverwolves are the clear favorite this week in 5A, but there are some good teams that could step up and fire some low scores to claim the title. Other contenders include Brighton, Skyline, Bingham, Riverton, Northridge and Spanish Fork.

Fremont's No. 1, Zac Blair, knows it won't be easy, but expects his team to do well this week. "This year feels a lot different than last year, we're deeper, more balanced, more relaxed. We have five or six guys that could be No. 1's on other teams, so that makes us feel more confident that we can close at state."

Blair isn't kidding. The Silverwolves had four players average under 70 in region play, under par for the year. "We definitely feel that if we don't get this state title, the year will be a disappointment."

The 4A race seems to be wide open.

The mystery is the addition of the southern schools, Pine View, Dixie and Snow Canyon, all of which are solid golf schools. The year-round golf season provides these schools with more seasoned, experienced golfers. Look for these three to be at the top of the leaderboards this week. However, the factor of a foreign course will help the local schools.

Other schools in contention are Sky View, defending champ Bonneville, Cottonwood, Murray, Springville and Timpview.

The 3A tournament will be held along with the 4A class. Two teams that will be vying for the top spot are Logan and Park City.

Uintah is also solid, along with the Judge Bulldogs.