GOLDEN — Chatfield senior Zach Lewis got to experience something new and exciting Aug. 11 at Applewood Golf Course. After playing on Chatfield’s boys golf Level-3 developmental squad and JV team …
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GOLDEN — Chatfield senior Zach Lewis got to experience something new and exciting Aug. 11 at Applewood Golf Course.
After playing on Chatfield’s boys golf Level-3 developmental squad and JV team over the past two years, Lewis teed up in his first varsity tournament at the Class 5A/4A Jeffco League tournament opener.
“I want to have fun and play with a good attitude,” Lewis said. “I want to be strong.”
Lewis is in the Significant Support Needs (SSN) Program at Chatfield, but nothing has held Lewis back from improving his golf game over the years. Chatfield boys golf coach Brady Stambaugh saw the athletic talent before Lewis started his high school career.
“I’ve known Zach since he was in the eighth grade. I was his PE teacher at Deer Creek Middle School,” Stambaugh said moments before Lewis teed off. “He was by far one of the best athletes we had come from the challenge room. I remember him being an awesome badminton player.”
At tryouts last week Lewis tied for fifth to make the varsity team.
“You want your team to be as good as possible. Every so often there are kids you are rooting for to make it,” Stambaugh said. “Zach was one of them we were watching throughout tryouts. He as really earned it himself. He has gotten a lot better and improved.”
Lewis said he has been playing golf since he was 2 years old and also plays on Chatfield’s Unified basketball team.
“I want to hit some good shots so I can be like Tiger Woods,” Lewis said before he shot a round of 104 in the first of six Jeffco League tournaments this fall.
“Because of his situation, he approaches golf in a slightly different way,” Stambaugh said of Lewis. “He teaches things to the other guys that he plays with. He has an amazing demeanor for golf. He doesn’t hold onto things or get angry. It clicks for him. When he gets on a golf course it’s natural for him.”
Things really clicked for Ralston Valley senior Gage Messingham at Applewood.
The defending 5A Jeffco individual medalist started his round with an eagle after driving the par-4 No. 1 hole. Messingham finished with a 4-under-par, 67, edging Arvada West junior Yusuke Ogi (68) by a stroke and Lakewood senior Max Lange (69) by two strokes.
Messingham, Ogi and Lange are all returning 5A Jeffco League first-team all-conference selections from last season.
Columbine had a strong team finish with sophomore Matai Naqica (70), along with seniors Qwenton Caldwell (70) and Matt Cicero (72) all finishing in the top-5 individually, giving the Rebels the early lead for the conference team championship.
On the 4A side, Evergreen freshman Tyler Long wasted no time breaking out on the high school stage. Long had a 4-under-par, 67 to win the individual 4A medalist by four strokes over Conifer senior Cade Rummell.
The next Jeffco League tournament is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 18, at Hyland Hills Golf Course.
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.
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