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(Courtesy Photo)

The Artesia High School golfers showed few signs of rust following a 12-day competition layoff, with the Lady Bulldogs topping the field and the Bulldogs coming in third in the annual two-day Spring Classic in Roswell.

The Artesia girls kept their season-long win streak alive at the event, taking the overall tournament with a team score of 653, 42 shots better than second-place Deming.

The Lady ‘Dogs opened with a team 338 Monday at Spring River, then followed with a school-record 315 Tuesday at NMMI, both good enough for their seventh and eighth state legs of the year.

“That first day, I almost want to say the girls struggled, but they didn’t struggle,” head coach Dusty Bean said today. “They thought they were worse than they were. A 338 is an awesome score, a great score, but then to cap it off with a 315… on the girls’ side, we have the three lowest scores of any team, any classification in the NMAA with that 315 and then a 325 in Artesia and a 325 in Carlsbad.”

Josey Jackson was also dominant individually, earning the first-place medal with a round of 74 at Spring River and a stellar 69 at NMMI for a two-day total of 143. Jackson’s NMMI round gave her an individual school record, as well.

Tuesday was a big day all around for the Jackson family, as Jackson’s cousin, Presley, a member of the Deming Lady Wildcat squad, albatrossed the No. 1 par-five hole at the NMMI course.

Brehnan Davis picked up third-place individual hardware with her 84-77 (161), followed by Taysea Powell (80-87=167), Teagan Archer (100-91=191) and Bri’Le Ybarra (105-82=187).
Both of Jackson, Davis and Powell’s rounds also logged them their seventh and eighth individual state legs, Archer notched her fourth at NMMI, and Ybarra picked up her first at NMMI.

“Josey shot her best round, Brehnan shot a 77, which is her personal low round, Bri’Le shot an 82, her personal low round… these girls are seeing what they literally can do,” said Bean. “And we can still go lower. If we fire on all cylinders and four out of the five girls play well, we can go lower than 315 easy. We could go lower than 310. And I feel like we can do that at The Canyon Club.”

For the Bulldogs, their two-day total of 627 was just six shots off of first-place Carlsbad and three away from second-place Clovis, both Class 6A squads.

The ‘Dogs were in the lead after Day One at NMMI, where they delivered a team 303, but came up short of the Cavemen and Wildcats Tuesday at Spring River with a 324. Both scores were still good enough for the squad’s fifth and sixth state team legs.

“That NMMI score the first day – how they played there was just great,” said Bean. “That kind of solidified us as the No. 1 seed, which means we’ll get to play with the best players at state, and that’s what we wanted.

“The second day, we didn’t play very good, but to not play very good and still get a team leg on Spring River is really good. For this team to play not so good and still get a leg just shows where we’re at.”

Jake Craft led the charge with an overall 148, which earned him the third-place medal. Craft shot a 71 Monday at NMMI and followed with a 77 Tuesday at Spring River, his fifth and sixth individual legs.

Posting individual legs No. 6 and 7 was Parker Sanders with his rounds of 73 and 80 (153). Rounding out the team were Tanner Parker (80-85=165), Wesley Davis (79-87=166) and Giovanni Huitron (91-82=173).

Davis’ 79 at NMMI gave him his fourth individual state leg of the season, while Parker notched his first with an 80 at NMMI.

With just two more tournaments separating them from the District 4-AAAAA event, the Artesia teams are both looking at a top seed May 8-9 in the Class 5A State Tournament at The Canyon Club in Albuquerque, as well as an excellent shot at a district sweep.

With Roswell unable to field a full team on both the boys’ and girls’ sides this year and Goddard in the same boat on the boys’ side, the Bulldogs will be competing May 1 at NMMI against only Lovington, while the Lady ‘Dogs will be taking on Goddard and Lovington.

Prior to that, however, the teams will head to the Black Murphy Invitational Tuesday at the Lovington Country Club, followed by the Hobbs Invitational Wednesday at Rockwind Community Links.

“I’m really proud of where we’re at as a team,” said Bean. “I think we’re poised and ready.
“We’ve been studying the state course, and we went up and played it on Good Friday. It was a great experience and everything went well. We know Farmington and Los Alamos are going to be tough on the boys’ side, and on the girls’ side, St. Pius wants revenge, and we’re ready to battle with them again.”