Dodge City High School won a tournament for the first time in three years

For the first time in three years, the Dodge City High School boy’s golf team walked away with gold medals after placing first at the Dodge City Invitational at Mariah Hill Golf Course on Thursday.

“I’m tremendously proud of them,” head coach Jim Mapel said. “They were making some good scores and they were making some bad scores, they were struggling. The course played pretty tough today, we had a pretty good wind and the greens were faster than they’ve been but they kept battling.”

Dodge City finished with a team score of 308 which was four strokes ahead of Hays and Garden City who finished second and third respectively shooting 312.

The Red Demons also placed three individual golfers in the top 10 with senior Dylan Ratts finished fourth with a 76, Canyon Owens finishing fifth with 76 and Luke Gleason finished sixth, shooting 77.

Ratts’ 76 not only led his team but it was also the best performance of his four-year high school career.

“That’s his best finish in a tournament,” Mapel said. “He’s been a great leader for us all year and I’d say he’s our best leader, our most vocal leader. I’m sure it meant a lot to him for us to win this tournament.”

Senior Matthew Vogel finished just outside of the top 10, shooting a 79, but his performance was key to his team win. Vogel shot a 43 on his first nine holes but rebounded to shoot a 36 in the second nine holes.

“That’s good senior leadership right there,” Mapel said. “He didn’t give up and he just kept fighting away.”

It was those seniors like Ratts and Vogel that Mapel felt especially happy for after the win.

“It’s an advantage to play at home in some ways but especially for these seniors, it was their last tournament in Dodge City,” Mapel said. “They were almost too amped up, they were nervous all week and I'm just really happy that they came through like they did.”

Rounding out the six scorers for Dodge City are Adam Kessen who shot an 82 and Payson Hatfield who shot a 91.

The Red Demons will head out on the road next week as they compete at Salina Municipal Golf Course. Mapel believes that his team is just starting to realize their potential and expects continual improvement as the season comes to a close.

“We’ve had quite a bit of improvement,” Mapel said. “Because of the weather, this is only our third tournament. They proved to themselves today that they can win a tournament. We some very good teams today. I would think that the only way from here is forward and up.”