The Central Alberta High School zone golf championship at Alberta Springs Tuesday afternoon featured most of the top juniors in the area.
And when the dust cleared 15-year-old Jared Nicolls of Ponoka was standing alone on top, plus led the Broncs to the boys’ team title.
“I had a couple of bad holes, four and 15 when I got a couple of unlucky bounces, but other than that it was a solid round,” said Nicolls, who finished with a two-over par 74. “I have to credit my putting, it was really good.”
Nicolls shared the individual spotlight with 15-year-old Courtney Dickson of Innisfail, who won the girls’ title with an 80.
Nicolls edged Matt Codd of Hunting Hills by one stroke for the overall title with Brett Pasula of Notre Dame at 76. Tanner Glover of Notre Dame came in with a 78 while Kolby Vold of Ponoka was fifth at 79.
Jeremy Reitze of Lacombe, Logan Hill of Hunting Hills and Lorne Baile of Lindsay Thurber all shot 80 and met in a playoff to determine the final individual spot at the provincials, which run Monday and Tuesday in Fort McMurray.
Baile was eliminated on the first playoff hole with a par while Hill needed three extra holes to edge Reitze.
Nicolls knew coming in it would be a battle for both the individual and team titles. “I knew a lot of the guys as we play against each other a lot,” he said.
“We also had a good feeling we could do well in the team competition as we have four solid guys. But we also knew it would be tough so we’re happy with the victory.”
Vold, Labrie Davis, who had an 81, and Chandler McClaran, who shot 88, rounded out the team, all of whom belong to Wolf Creek Golf Resort.
Ponoka had a 225 total with Notre Dame coming in at 230 and Hunting Hills 234. The top two teams compete at the provincials.
Lindsay Thurber had a 249 total with H.J. Cody of Sylvan Lake at 251.
Nicolls will be making his first appearance at the provincials.
“I missed last year because I was in Ontario for an event, so I’m excited,” said Nicolls, who also plays basketball and volleyball at the high school.
Dickson, who was the lone competitor out of Innisfail, finished seven strokes up on Micaele Stone of Camrose with Shaye Leidenius of Ponoka third at 84.
“My start was a little rough, but it got better as I went along,” she said. “I eagled (the par-five) 18th and got rolling.”
Dickson, who competed on a number of junior events this year, especially on the McLennan Ross/Sun Tour, is in Grade 10 and has been playing competitive golf for four years.
“My parents got me into it when I was three and I started competing when I was 11,” she explained.
“It was then that I really got into it.” She competed in the McLennan Ross Tour final the last two years, but will be making her first appearance in the high school provincials.
“I’m excited,” she said.
“It’s a long way to go (travel) and I’ve never played there, but it will be a great learning experience.”
Dickson is the second top junior girl to come out of Innisfail, following Cara Vanderham.
“I played a lot with her, which helped me a lot,” said Dickson, who considers her driving a strength and putting something “I have to work on.”
Lacombe, which included Reanna Arnold and Robyn Arnold, Chantele Broderson and Kendahl Reitze, won the girls’ team title with a 312 total with LTCHS at 330, Ponoka 342 and Wetaskiwin 414.
Only the top girls’ team advances to the provincials.