In the end, Ruidoso’s boys got a low enough score for a State leg at Thursday’s Last Chance qualifier at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, but were still a leg shy of qualifying for the State tournament as a team.
That means the Warriors will need to win when they head back to the course on April 30 for the District 4/5-4A/1A tournament.
Ruidoso coach Jason Kampsky thinks his team can do it.
“Anything can happen there,” Kampsky said. “If the guys can lop off four or five strokes each, we could win it.”
Kampsky said Portales is the team to beat, but that the field should be pretty tight on a course the Warriors are very familiar with.
That familiarity paid off Thursday, particularly for Jake Butkeiwicz, who shot an impressive three-under 69 to win the individual title.
“The course is in better condition, and not much wind,” Butkeiwicz said. “That helped, but I also had a lot of confidence going into it.”
Butkeiwicz was playing well from the start, and he knew he was on a roll all day.
“I was well under par early in the round, and nine holes in I was three under,” Butkeiwicz said. “I didn’t get too down on myself if I got a bogey, because I knew I’d get some birdies the rest of the way.”
Butkeiwicz is already qualified for State as an individual, now it’s just a question of whether his teammates can come through with low scores of their own.
“If we can all just play slightly better, I think we can win it,” Kampsky said. “I feel really good about it.”