Sports

Marysville Getchell golfers make it to state

David Fugate lines up a shot during the state championships in Spokane on May 22. - Photo courtesy of Northwest Sports Photography
David Fugate lines up a shot during the state championships in Spokane on May 22.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Northwest Sports Photography

SPOKANE — The Marysville Getchell boys golf team sent two of their best players to the WIAA 3A State Championship Tournament on May 22 at the Indian Canyon Golf Course in Spokane.

David Fugate, a senior, scored an 87 during the first round of the tournament and Gage St. John scored a 91. The cut-off for the second round of the tournament was 81, so neither player was able to move on to the second round but both made an effort to make MG’s first year of golf a success.

“This was the inaugural season for Marysville Getchell golf,” said MGHS Head Coach Ryan Gilbertson, who is a long-time football and baseball coach and in his first season as a golf coach.

“When I was hired as the  boys golf coach prior to the season, David Fugate came to my classroom to introduce himself and offer any assistance that he could. I was really impressed with this act of leadership,” said Gilbertson.

Fugate was a golfer for Marysville-Pilchuck before he became a student at Marysville Getchell, and played on the M-P golf team until the Marysville Getchell athletics program began. He was on the varsity team all three years and became captain of the M-P team his junior year.

“I’ve been playing golf since I was in the seventh grade,” said Fugate, who was an avid soccer player prior to being introduced to the sport. “One day my dad asked me if I wanted to go to Battle Creek [golf course] and I got addicted,” he said. Fugate describes his skill progressing through the years as being a great part of the sport.

“I definitely got better these last four years,” he said. “Just maturing and being older helps me a lot.”

Some of the struggles that Fugate faced while on the team came mostly from outside the sport.

“Balancing school and golf can be tough, especially this year as a senior,” he said. “Golf takes up a lot of time and you have to leave school a lot for matches.”

Despite the struggle to keep balance, Fugate was able to maintain a good grade-point average this year and played well enough to qualify for state.

“His experience with competitive golf was of great assistance to me as I learned the ‘ropes’ as they say,” said Gilbertson. “This was David’s senior campaign and I did choose him as my captain. He had a great season as my No. 1 golfer.”

Fugate earned the All-Wesco Golf 3A first team honors in 2012, as chosen by league coaches. He qualified for and made the cut at the 31st Annual Bill Egbers Memorial Golf Tournament at Skagit Golf and Country Club. The Bill Egbers Memorial Golf Tournament is a 36-hole course where hundreds of local players from all divisions are invited to play.

“He placed well enough at districts to earn a state berth in Spokane,” said Gilbertson. Fugate said that going to state was a great time.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “I didn’t play really well, but it was a good experience.”

Going to state was quite the accomplishment for a player who is so passionate about the sport, his coach said.

“Throughout the season, David has demonstrated leadership and a desire to continue to play competitive golf and succeed in the next stage of his life,” said Gilbertson.

Fugate hopes to play golf at Skagit Valley Community College next year.

St. John, a sophomore, also showed dedication and passion on the trip to the state tournament this year.

“Gage really had some great success this season as an underclassmen. Gage was my No. 2 player throughout the season,” said Gilberston. “This young man really seems to love the game. He is always at the course and that is a great sign for the future of MG boys golf and for Gage as a competitive golfer.”

St. John earned the All-Wesco 3A honorable mention and also qualified for the Bill Egbers Memorial golf tournament last month. Like Fugate, St. John really enjoyed his time at the state tournament.

“It was my first time at state,” said St. John. “It was really fun and a good learning experience.” St. John began playing golf a few years ago and was on the Marysville-Pilchuck before MGHS gained a team.

Despite making it to just the first round at state, St. John has high hopes for the future.

“I am hoping to make it state again next year and make the cut,” he said. “We had a decent team and we made it a pretty good year. And as a first year team, we can only get better.”

Coach Gilbertson said he’s proud of the kind of dedication shown by both players.

“Both of these individuals are good golfers, but more importantly they are great young men,” said Gilbertson. “I wish David the best of luck as he continues to strive for success on and off the golf course, and I hope that Gage keeps working hard on his game so that come next season he can have another successful season as likely the team’s No. 1 golfer.”

 

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