Prep golf preview: 5 things to watch for the 2024 season in Snohomish County

A look at the top local storylines for this high school boys and girls golf season.

The prep boys and girls golf seasons are underway.

Below are storylines to follow as local players hit the links in the coming weeks.

Can Snohomish’s core group make one final state run?

Snohomish seniors Hudson Capelli, Drew Hanson, Palmer Mutcheson, Tyson Olds and Cade Strickland all attended the same elementary school and have played high school golf together since their freshman year.

Capelli, Hanson, Mutcheson and Olds each earned 2022 All-Wesco first-team selections as sophomores while Capelli, Mutcheson and Strickland were each 2023 All-Wesco first-team selections as juniors.

The quintet has also represented the Panthers and Wesco well at state.

In 2022, Mutcheson finished tied for 12th while Olds, Capelli and Hanson competed in the first round but did not make the second-day cut. In 2023, Mutcheson finished 15th while Olds finished tied for 43rd, Strickland tied for 53rd, Hanson 64th and Capelli tied for 70th. Their efforts helped Snohomish earn an eighth-place team finish in 2023 after being Wesco 3A North and District 1 champions.

Can Stanwood senior shoot his way to another top-5 state finish?

There’s a strong argument for Stanwood senior Conrad Chisman to be Wesco’s top golfer again this season. He was an All-Wesco second-team selection as a freshman in 2021 and a first-team pick as a sophomore in 2022 and junior in 2023.

With no opportunity to compete at state in 2021 due to COVID-19, Chisman didn’t let that slow his pace. He finished tied for fifth in his state debut at the 2022 Class 3A boys tournament and improved to fourth in 2023, which was 11 spots from the nearest Wesco 3A competitor.

Stanwood graduated two golfers, so Chisman is one of five seniors and eight returners for the Spartans this season.

After high school, Chisman will continue his golf career as a Redhawk for Seattle University’s men’s golf team.

Can locals keep up the success at the 2A level?

The Archbishop Murphy boys golf team has been on an impressive run with back-to-back top-four finishes at state, including third last season. But the Wildcats have some big shoes to fill at the top of their lineup after the graduation of Nick Ennis and Eric Leonen, who both placed in the top six at state last season. Junior Jack Duffy highlights the returning contingent after placing 27th and 36th, respectively, at the past two state tournaments. He’s joined by returning senior James Jensen, while the lineup adds senior Calvin Joplin and juniors Rush Bradley, Grayson Burgett and Keldan Pablo to the mix.

The Cedarcrest and Lakewood girls golf teams have also held their own at state. The Red Wolves placed fourth in 2022 and 2023 with Charlotte Giffin placing eighth and first, respectively. The Cougars earned a third-place finish two years ago with Kiana Schroeder finishing in the top seven both years.

The pair of local 2A teams have had three top-10 state finishers two seasons ago and two in the top four last year. With Giffin graduated, Schroeder, a Western Washington University signee who topped last year’s state champ at districts, looks to continue carrying the torch for local 2A girls golfers.

Can the Wesco 4A boys teams produce another lineup of state finishers?

All but two of last year’s Wesco 4A state finishers return this season. The group includes Lake Stevens sophomore Hugo Ramires, Jackson juniors Jacob Kang and Henry Kippenhan, Kamiak senior Brandon Suh and Kamiak juniors Kaedon Smith, Aaron Choi and Luke Wyrick.

At the 2023 state tournament, Wesco 4A teams had nine golfers play in the second round, one more than the year prior. Ramires and Kang finished tied for 18th, the highest of all Wesco 4A competitors. Kamiak had six golfers place in the top 61, earning the Knights an eighth-place team finish. The team also claimed the team state title in 2019 and were runners-up in 2022, and it’s accumulated 20 district titles and nine Dolan Memorial Invitational championships.

Of the current Wesco 4A teams — Glacier Peak, Jackson, Kamiak, Lake Stevens and Mariner — there have only been two individual state champions since 2000: Jackson’s Kyle Cornett in 2012 and Kamiak’s Reid Martin in 2008. The last time a Wesco 4A boys golfer won a state title was Rudy Caparas for Lynnwood in 2014.

Many returners, new additions in Wesco girls golf

Turnout numbers are healthy as Wesco 3A and 4A girls golf teams return many players and welcome a number of new faces to their lineups this spring.

Jackson returns two-time state qualifiers Paige Swander and Lindsay Catli and 2023 state qualifier Esther Yapjoco. Incoming freshmen include Chanyoung Park and Kayla Kim, both ranked in the top 20 of the Washington Junior Golf Association for ages 13-18. Jackson finished third in league and districts in 2022 and improved to second in both tournaments in 2023.

Mariner has only had a few golfers turnout for the team the past couple of seasons, but the number has now increased to seven committed members this year. Junior Cindy Sun is the solo returner who competed on the first day of districts last season.

Snohomish was Wesco North champions, third in districts and a state participant last year. All five varsity golfers return this season, including key seniors Baylee Osborne, Sidney Brandvold and Chloe Cahan.

Mountlake Terrace returns all seven players from last season led by senior Alison Dumo, the reigning 3A District 1 champion. The Hawks also added four new golfers to the roster.

Glacier Peak brings back all four varsity golfers — junior Jada May, who shot a career-best 87 on the first day of state last spring, Carys McGee, Maddie Binek and Maura Hyatt.

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