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Forest Grove boys golfers tune up for new season


Viks working hard in preparation for their first tourney

If numbers mean anything, they are strong this season for the Forest Grove boys golf team.

A total of 12 boys turned out this year, meaning that coach Bobby Rymer can field a full complement of varsity and JV teams. That also creates some ready-made competition within the squad.

“I’ll have the boys ... qualify each week to see who’s going to be on that varsity squad or JV squad,” Rymer said.

Rymer expects the Vikings’ top golfer also to be the team’s sole senior. Ethan Thursam returns for his final season on the links after starring for the football team in the fall.

“He’s got a good golf swing, and I think he’s probably going to be our No. 1 boy this year,” Rymer said. “I think he’ll probably average somewhere right around upper 70s, low 80s.”

Those types of rounds should make Thursam pretty competitive in the Pacific Conference.

Rymer also pointed out junior Nick Kroeplin as a golfer likely to emerge from the mix onto varsity.

“He’s progressed quite a bit,” Rymer noted. “He’s grown about a foot and a half I think since his freshman year. Just got him some new golf clubs, so he’s pretty excited about that. He’s really been working hard.”

After that, Rymer said, probably half of his group could challenge for varsity spots. Among those who could be in the mix to fill out the varsity roster are Branden Thompson, Gavin Haag, Justin Brady and Ryan Colter.

The Vikings have been spending the first few weeks of practice getting their feel for the game back after the winter, and their first true competition of the season comes after spring break.

They will compete in the first Pacific Conference tournament of the season on Monday at Meriwether Golf Course in Hillsboro. The conference championship tournament is slated for May 12-13 just up the road at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks.

The Class 6A boys state tournament, scheduled for the following week, also will take place at Quail Valley.

“I think everybody’s on a pretty even playing field, and they’re competitive with one another, so it’s going to (be) a good year for anybody to step up,” Rymer said about his Forest Grove team.

“And somebody’s going to play well and want it, and they’re going to get it.”