March 22, 2022 — On Thursday March 17, Siuslaw hosted golfers from seven other area high schools in the first golf tournament of this season for the Vikings, which was also the first tournament for any Siuslaw High golfers since spring of 2015.
Siuslaw has not fielded a golf team, at all, for the previous six school years, due to lack of interest from students along with other factors. The Viking golf program returns with a storied past having three team state titles (the last in 2005) and five individual state titles in its history.
Coach Chuck Johnson and his team are starting from scratch this year. Only one of the seven golfers that competed for SHS at the Siuslaw Invitational had previously competed in a tournament, at any level. The Siuslaw golfers know that though they may not take home many team titles this year they are laying the groundwork for the future success of the program.
“I am so glad to be a part of it,” said Viking senior Hayden Muller. “Since everyone except one guy [SHS freshman Ryan Klampe] is playing in their first tournament there’s lots of room for improvement.”
Klampe, the only Siuslaw golfer with any previous tournament experience, was the low scorer for Siuslaw. Klampe and North Eugene senior Preston Brandy finished tied for third with a score of 82.
Thurston sophomore Peyton Wiedenmann won the boys tournament posting a score of 75 over 18 holes.
The Vikings finished seventh out of eight teams in the boys team standings. Thurston won the boys team title with 327 points, followed by North Eugene with 385 and Springfield who scored 391.
Individual scores for the girls tournament were not available but Siuslaw finished third in the team race with 214 points, behind winner Thurston who scored 197. The Colts barely edged North Bend for first place. The Bulldogs scored 198.
After the last six years without any high school golf at all, simply hosting of the tournament was a victory for the team.
“The fact we were out on the golf course is amazing,” said Johnson.
The Vikings still have a lot of work to do on the course to get to the level where they can compete with schools around Oregon but with Johnson’s leadership and the strong bond the team is building the signs for future success are already there.
“I didn’t feel great about how I played but I’d say I feel good about it,” said junior girls golfer Itziar Carro. “The best part is just being part of the team. We’re all just learning but we are having a lot of fun doing it.”
Though their schedule is still in flux, the Vikings have at least one more home tournament scheduled for this season. On April 13 Marshfield and Roseburg will join Siuslaw for an invitational at Florence Golf Links. Start time is to be announced.