The members of the Snohomish High School boys golf team (from left to right): Cade Strickland, Tyson Olds, Palmer Mutcheson, Hudson Capelli, Drew Hanson and Jackson Dammann. (Photo courtesy of Mark Myers Photography)

The members of the Snohomish High School boys golf team (from left to right): Cade Strickland, Tyson Olds, Palmer Mutcheson, Hudson Capelli, Drew Hanson and Jackson Dammann. (Photo courtesy of Mark Myers Photography)

Senior-led Snohomish takes aim at state boys golf

Five of the six Panthers who will play at state are seniors who attended elementary school together.

SNOHOMISH — Palmer Mutcheson doesn’t remember learning to walk or the first time he took a hack with a golf club.

It’s pretty certain, though, that two events weren’t far apart. After all, his father has been the Snohomish High School boys golf coach since before he was born.

“He very much grew up around it,” said Snohomish coach Joey Mutcheson, whose teams won state titles in 2001 and 2009. “He’s been coming out to practice since he was in elementary school. It’s just something we always have done.”

Mutcheson, a senior, and his Snohomish teammates hope to help take another step at the Class 3A state tournament, which begins Tuesday at Hawks Prairie Golf Course in Lacey. The Panthers placed eighth last season with five juniors.

“It’s going to take two good rounds of golf from all of us,” Palmer Mutcheson said. “We’re going to come out there, and we’re going to play Panther golf to the best of our abilities.”

Both Mutchesons say they’ve been able keep their relationship out of the rough. Coaching one’s child can be challenging for many, but they say they’re able to separate blood from ball. Joey Mutcheson, who has also coached his son and several other Snohomish golfers in youth basketball, said that golf in particular lends itself to a calmer demeanor for coaches.

“Golf is a little bit different than basketball or football where you’re constantly yelling,” he said. “There’s a different emotional level.”

The younger Mutcheson found more golf family in elementary school. Five seniors who all attended Riverview Elementary in Snohomish will tee it up at state this weekend for the Panthers. Four of the seniors — Mutcheson, Tyson Olds, Hudson Capelli and Cade Strickland — will be joined by Jackson Damman, a freshman, in the team competition. Drew Hanson, the fifth senior, qualified for state as an individual.

“We’re not just teammates — we’re brothers,” said Olds, who plans to play golf at Skagit Valley College next year. “That bond we have, I think is different than other teams.”

Years after walking in the same hallways for the first time, they’ll stroll down the fairways together for one last tournament as high school teammates before they attend colleges located in five different states. At least three of them plan to play golf in college. Mutcheson (Northern Colorado) and Capelli (Florida College) have signed letters of intent.

The group took a trip to Lacey a few months ago, where they played the Hawks Prairie course with an eye on two more rounds in May. Though they’ll get some stiff competition from teams like Mountain View, Gig Harbor, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Roosevelt, the Panthers believe they can compete with anyone and that the course is a good fit for the team.

“We’re really excited to make a run at state.” Palmer Mutcheson said. “Kind of one last hurrah for our high school sports careers.”

State golf

The high school state golf tournaments take place Tuesday and Wednesday at various locations:

4A boys: Indian Canyon Golf Course (Spokane)

4A girls: Creek at Qualchan Golf Course (Spokane)

3A boys: The Golf Club at Hawks Prairie – The Links (Lacey)

3A girls: Eagles Pride Golf Course (DuPont)

2A boys: Liberty Lake Golf Course

2A girls: MeadowWood Golf Course (Liberty Lake)

1A boys and girls: Riverside Golf Club (Chehalis)

1B/2B boys and girls: Tumwater Valley Golf Club

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