For the first time in three decades, a Dripping Springs High golf team got the chance to perform at the state tournament.
While the team finished ninth at state, held at the White Wing Golf Course in Georgetown earlier this month, head coach Jason Wahlers said he was pleased to helm a group that was able to break a longstanding drought.
“It was pretty incredible, to be honest with you,” Wahlers said. “We got five kids that really wanted to be a part of the golf team and just put in a ton of time. It was great to see it all pay off.”
The Dripping Springs boys golf team was represented by seniors Sam Nolley, Chris Cameron and Rob Thomas, as well as juniors Jake Sitterle and Case Reeves. As a team, the Tigers scored a combined 641 points; the team carded 314 points on Day 1 and 327 points on Day 2.
“Being at the state tournament was one of the most fun and the most rewarding experiences we’ve had as a team and as individuals,” Thomas said. “The golf wasn’t necessarily there for a lot of us, some of us struggled on the course, but that didn’t take away from the fact that we had a great time. We went into it confident and in control of our emotions. Really ultimately we enjoyed it.”
Cameron tied for 21st in the individual scoring in the tournament with a two-day score of 152. Following close behind him was Nolley with a score of 155 and Thomas with a 172 score. Sitterle and Reeves both finished with a score of 167.
“He (Cameron) played really well, I think he was one of the top par-3,” Wahlers said. “He just did a great job of playing the course and sticking with his game. He’s always been a great player so it was cool to see him step up in that environment.”
Wahlers credited his team’s drive and dedication to transforming and building the culture of the Dripping Springs golf program into a state contender. Without a golf course in Dripping Springs, the team had to travel more than 25 minutes to a nearby green in Wimberley or Austin for every practice.
Thomas said, when his class arrived on campus, the culture “wasn’t really set up to make it” to state. “The way that we acted on the golf course, the demeanor that people carried themselves in tournaments wasn’t necessarily at the highest level of competition,” Thomas said. “So it was changing that culture, but also still going out there and enjoying it. Where we are serious and we are trying to win and play the golf course to be as successful as we can.”
For Thomas, the bond that he and his teammates crafted over the course of their careers, especially their run to state, is what he will miss the most.
“There is a level of brotherhood and just enjoying your round of golf and having fun with your friends,” Thomas said. “Playing every day and playing tournaments, I mean that’s something I will never get to do on a high level again. So probably the connection that I had with the guys and all the progress we made as a team (is what I’ll miss).”