High school boys golf: Altamont’s Dicen Taylor takes home individual medalist honors, Valley gets its sixth title in last seven years
The results of last season’s 1A state tournament were tough to swallow for the Valley Buffaloes, who saw a round two comeback attempt fall short by just one stroke as Wendover went home with what could’ve been Valley’s sixth straight state championship victory.
So when the Buffaloes found themselves trailing Altamont by five strokes heading into Wednesday’s 1A state tournament second round, they were determined to redeem themselves.
Shooting a field-best 53-over par in the second round, the Buffaloes completed the comeback, finishing five strokes ahead of Altamont for a final score of 677, taking home the program’s sixth state title since 2014.
Milford finished in third place with a score of 714.
“We felt like we were close enough coming into the round and that we could gain some strokes,” Valley head coach Jeremy Chamberlain said. “We knew it would come down to our third, fourth and fifth kids… It’s those kids at the end of the bench that made it happen.”
Chamberlain said that tournament victory ultimately came down to his team’s No. 4 scorer, freshman Boede Cox, who won his Altamont matchup by five strokes, making up the deficit that the Buffaloes faced coming into the day.
The victory was redemptive for Chamberlain and his son, Cooper Chamberlain, who finished tied for second place individually with a score of 153. Jeremy Chamberlain said that they wanted to get the win for his other son, Conner Chamberlain, who was the leader of last year’s runner-up team that finished just behind Wendover and is now serving a church mission in Ghana.
“Last year was just like today, back and forth… So it’s pretty cool to see (Cooper) come back this year and say, ‘You know what? I got you man,’” Jeremy Chamberlain said, trying to hold back tears.
Despite only having one birdie all tournament, Valley was consistent in all phases, but really made up ground during the final nine holes of the tournament, as the Buffaloes outscored the Altamont side it was chasing by six strokes on the back nine.
With six titles to show from the last seven state tournaments, the Valley golf dynasty continued to grow, and Jeremy Chamberlain said it’s all because of the support the team receives from the community and hard work from the players, who typically practice on their own until dark every night they can.
Much of the chasing Valley had to do in the final round came as a result of stellar play from Altamont junior Dicen Taylor, who finished the tournament with medalist honors thanks to a score of 146 (seven strokes ahead of second place).
Taylor carried a huge lead into the second day after shooting a staggering round of 68 (four under par) on Tuesday. Despite finishing tied for the third best second round score, Taylor still finished with the top individual spot with relative comfort.
“Today was about maintaining the lead and not putting myself in any bad spots, whereas yesterday I went for it and made some risky plays, but there was no need for that today,” Taylor said after finishing his round Wednesday.
“I felt great (turning in the final scorecard), I was on cloud nine.”
Though excited for his individual win, Taylor said he was disappointed his Altamont side couldn’t hang onto the lead, but he said he knew that he and his teammates did the best that they could.
Class 1A state tournament
At Glendale Golf Course
1. Valley, 677.
2. Altamont, 682.
3. Milford, 714.
4. Monticello, 716.
5. Wayne, 719.
6. Rich, 721.
7. Piute, 722.
8. Telos, 766.
146 — Dicen Taylor, Altamont.
153 — Avre Gomez, Wendover.
153 — Cooper Chamberlain, Valley.
156 — Noah Parry, Rich.
157 —Matt Crawmer, Telos.
167 — Trejin Tangaro, Wendover.
167 — Ivan Spencer, Valley.
167 — Rhyder Ambrose, Milford.
168 — Ryker Peterson, Wayne.
168 — Breckyn Hoggard, Monticello.
169 — Suede Olsen, Piute.
169 — Cole Finch, Milford.
171 — Boston Freestone, Monticello.
172 — Bronco Thacker, Altamont.
173 — Hunter Cox, Valley.
176 — Shae Miller, Panguitch
176 — Greysen McKinnon, Altamont