CARBONDALE — For the first time in school history, the Discovery Canyon Thunder have a team it can call champion.
The Thunder shot 438 through the tournament to claim the Class 4A boys state golf championship. But while the team title had little drama behind it, the battle for the individual title will be talked about for years.
Discovery Canyon's Luke Trujillo shot a 1-over par 73 to end the tournament at 4-under. But he had to fight off first Windsor's Cole Krantz and then last year's defending champion.
On the 18th tee box, Trujillo heard the roar of the crowd from the 18th green. He grew worried.
He thought Silver Creek's Jackson Solem had just made birdie to pull even with at 5-under.
"I told him it was the other guy," Thunder coach Mark Liggett said.
But Liggett had no idea that the other guy was Trujillo's teammate, Owen Pasvogel, who had just chipped in from the bunker.
In reality, Liggett had no idea who it was.
But it wouldn't matter. Trujillo's approach shot on 18 went left of the green and his chip putt him above the pin about five feet out.
He missed the par putt and Solem and Trujillo were headed for a playoff.
"I was thinking that if I wanted to win, I had to finish," Trujillo said.
He couldn't in regulation so the co-leaders went to the ninth hole to determine an undisputed champion. Both found the green in regulation and two-putted for par.
They were forced back to the ninth tee where Trujillo stuck it to about 12 feet for birdie while Solem sat on the fringe.
Both missed their attempts at birdie and while Trujillo tapped in for par, Solem was left with five feet of green in front of the cup.
"I was expecting him to make it with the mindset that we were going to another playoff hole," Trujillo said.
But Solem's putt pushed just a tad left and didn't fall. A new champion had been crowned.
Trujillo went 5-under Monday while playing in Solem's group and was forced to go toe-to-toe with him in the playoff for the top spot in the tournament.
So to come away with the win, Trujillo firmly accepted that in order to be the man, you have to beat the man.
"I don't even know if it's hit me yet," Trujillo said. "It's amazing."
And he wasn't alone in celebration.
After gaining a 13-stroke lead on Monday, the Thunder held on to claim the overall team title. It is the first team championship in school history.
"It's awesome," Pasvogel said. "(To) think about that in 20 years and know I was on that team, it's been a fun ride."
"I saw the the talent that they could get here and do it," Liggett said. "And boy, they did. All year, that's all they said, 'we want state.'"
And they got it.
The Thunder may have sat through a 45-minute frost delay and two playoff holes, but they have the hardware that will be the drive home on they'll never forget.