ARVADA — The Jeffco League boys golf regular season belonged to the Big Cats this fall.
The Lakewood Tigers (Class 5A) and Evergreen Cougars (Class 4A) completed sweeps of the Jeffco League team titles, along with individual medalist honors Monday. The Tigers captured their third straight 5A Jeffco team title and Lakewood senior Griffin Barela wrapped up the individual title edging Columbine senior Marcus Tait by seven strokes over the six conference tournaments.
“I felt good with my game coming in,” said Barela, who was four strokes under-par through his first 10 holes at West Woods Golf Course in Arvada. “I knew I would be able to put up a good score and really put the pressure on Marcus to have a good round to beat me.”
Barela fired a tournament-best 3-under-par, 69. Back-to-back long birdie putts on No. 9 and 10 pretty much sealed the deal for the Lakewood senior.
“That’s what I was trying to do,” Barela said of his trying to lag his uphill putt from off the green on No. 10 that dropped in for birdie. “Once I made that I was pretty confident and I really thought I had wrapped it up.”
Tait, who fired an even-par, 72 could only laugh when Barela’s lag putt on No. 10 dropped for birdie.
“Today was a good round, but I didn’t play well enough to catch Griffin,” Tait said. “He (Barela) made a putt on No. 9 that was from 45 feet. Then he does it again on No. 10. I love making putts like that. I just got in the fun with him.”
Evergreen completed its goal of dethroning Valor Christian for the 4A Jeffco team title. The Cougars ended up beating out the defending 4A state champions by 42 strokes over the six league tournaments.
“It’s awesome. It’s a huge accomplishment for us to beat the starting string of Valor’s kids,” Evergreen senior Lenny Urbas said. “We are probably one of the best 4A teams in the state and hopefully one of the favorites to win state.”
Adding to the team success, Urbas overcame a one-stroke deficit to Green Mountain junior Gabe Goodman entering Monday’s tournament to claim the 4A Jeffco medalist title. Urbas shot a 1-over-par, 73 to out dual Goodman by two strokes for the individual title.
It was a rollcoaster of a round for Urbas. He started with a double-bogey on No. 17 when it was ruled his tee shot was out-of-bounds because of a missing out-of-bounds stake.
“I’ve just got to keep my composure. I really worked on that this week. It worked,” Urbas said. “Today I wasn’t swinging that well on the first-nine, but started playing well on the second-nine.”
The Tigers and Cougars now turn their attention to the state-qualifying regional tournaments.
Lakewood coach Alan Gonzales hopes Lakewood can carry over its momentum. The Tigers won’t have much to time get nervous for their regional tournament. Lakewood plays in the 5A Western Regional on Thursday at the Broadlands Golf Course in Broomfield.
“We played well, a lot of positives today,” Gonzales said after the Tigers shot a team total of 306 to complete the sweep of winning all six 5A Jeffco League tournaments. “I think we will go into Thursday with a lot of confidence. I’m excited to go.”
Evergreen heads to the Western Slope for its regional tournament Monday, Sept. 19 at Adobe Creek Golf National Course in Fruita.
Class 5A Jeffco League all-conference
Griffin Barela, 12, Lakewood
Marcus Tait, 12, Columbine
Jack Castiglia, 11, Lakewood
Landon Thunell, 11, Ralston Valley
Grayden Wolfe, 12, Lakewood
Max Camp-Oberhauser, 12, Lakewood
Slade Marceau, 12, Bear Creek
Jax Jones, 12, Ralston Valley
Class 4A Jeffco League all-conference
Lenny Urbas, 12, Evergreen
Gabe Goodman, 11, Green Mountain
Jake Welch, 10, Valor Christian
Bridger Tenney, 11, Evergreen
Nolan Miller, 10, Evergreen
Zach Zurcher, 12, Valor Christian
Ty Findlow, 10, Valor Christian
Jack Schoenborn, Valor Christian
Parker Skiles, 12, Golden
Jake Johnson, 12 Golden