May 22—CEDAR FALLS — The Easton Valley boys golf team and Northeast’s Alijah Dopson finished out the spring golf season Friday afternoon with a soggy round at their respective sectional meets, falling short of state bids.
The River Hawks took a sixth place finish in Cedar Falls on Friday. With much of the state saturated after a week of rain, it was a wet start to the day. The sky let loose for the first two hours of the meet before beginning to dry up.
“It was wet,” Easton Valley head coach Jordan Davis said. “But it was wet for everybody, so it wasn’t like it was a disadvantage for anybody. As the day went on, it stopped, the course dried up a bit and the kids were drying up as well.”
The River Hawks were led by an 85 round from Ethan Farrell and a 91 from Abe Driscoll. Farrell’s finish was good for a tie for seventh place in the field, with Driscoll cracking the top 20.
Hayden Holdgrafer shot a 105 for the River Hawks, and both Lucas Heister and Andin Farrell came in with a 107.
“The course, for getting rain all week, the course still played very fair,” Davis said. “We played it up in our fairways but down in the rough. It held very well.
“We were impressed with all of our guys. They could have turned around and thought it was just going to be a terrible day because of how it started, but everybody kept their heads in a positive place.”
Easton Valley qualified for the sectional meet after winning the Class 1A regional in Wyoming last week. For Coach Davis, ending the season at the 10-team sectional was an accomplishment in itself.
“It was a great year for the guys to make it past the first round, just because we had three out of five golfers who had never played in a high school meet before,” Davis said. “We were impressed with those three kids who continued to improve throughout the spring. Between Ethan and Abe — they’re just good guys who kept leading everyone through practice and meets, and they really helped the other guys.”
Northeast’s Alijah Dopson fell short of a state big by single-digit strokes, shooting an 85 at Gates Park Golf Course. The individual state qualifiers from the Waterloo meet shot in the high 70s on Friday afternoon.
Dopson, a senior at Northeast, was the lone individual qualifier for the Rebels. After falling short of sectionals his sophomore year by just two strokes and missing his junior season, the golfer was happy to see the second step of the golfing postseason.
“It felt good to finally move on, it was a weight off my shoulders to move on,” Dopson said. “It does suck that I couldn’t get the job done today.”
With a near-afternoon tee time, Dopson set out to the course in Waterloo after much of the rain had passed. While the grounds were soggy to start and he had to make adjustments for slow rolls, the course dried up by the end of the day.
“At first, it took me a few holes to get the speed of the greens down,” Dopson said. “Today, the balls weren’t rolling out.
“I hit a lot of bad chips. I was leaving myself with 15-footers instead of 8-footers, and forced myself to take a lot of long putts.”
It’s not the end of his golf career, however. Dopson is taking to the course at the collegiate level, shooting for Hawkeye Community College next year. Although he missed his goal, he says it’s a lesson that he’ll take with him to the next level: “Stay humble.”