Iola golfers compete in pre-state challenge

Iola High's golfers were at Emporia Tuesday for what they hope was the first of two events this season. Those who qualify will be back at Emporia in May for the class 3A State Tournament.



April 25, 2024 - 2:35 PM

Iola High golfers competing Tuesday at Emporia are, from left, Briley Prather, Parker Andres, Brennan Coffield, Baron Folk, Xander Sellman, Chris Holloway and Ethan Harris. Photo by Jeremy Sellman / IHS
Iola High’s Christopher Holloway hits a shot Tuesday at Emporia.Photo by Jeremy Sellman / IHS

EMPORIA — Iola High’s golf team tried out a new venue Tuesday, one that could be a part of the Mustangs’ near future.

Iola was at the Emporia Municipal Golf course, site of this year’s Class 3A State Tournament in May.

The tournament also put Iola against some of the top golfers in the state, head coach Jeremy Sellman noted.

Leading the charge was senior Chris Holloway, who shot an 84, good for 30th, at 11 over par.

“Today was a great round for Chris,” Sellman said. “He was really focused and stayed out of his head.”

Holloway, who attributed his early season struggles to his mental approach, spent much of Tuesday’s tournament discussing shots and strategies with Coach Sellman during the round.

“Chris was really good today at accepting the outcome of the shot and the hole,” Sellman said. “He really just played the course and tried to beat each hole he played,

“That’s the goal,” he continued. “I tell all of the kids it’s just you and the course. Beat the course and the scoreboard will sort itself out.”

Xander Sellman was right behind on the scoreboard, shooting an 85 and placing 34th.

“Xander’s round was up and down,” Coach Sellman said. “He had good opportunities to score but was unable to capitalize on them.  It’s the short game with him right now, just missing putts and not getting his chip shots to finish tight to the hole.”

Brennen Coffield was next at 87 and finished in 43rd.

“He was struggling trusting his process and his swing today,” Sellman said. “It’s  been mental with him the last couple rounds. His mechanics are there but he has to trust it. Going through the rest of the week we’re going to keep it simple and get back to the basics — a little mental and physical reset if you will.”

Baron Folk carded a 99 and placed 70th.

“Baron handled himself really well today on a tough course that we had never seen or played,” Sellman said. “I was really happy with how Baron approached every hole with focus and stayed in the moment. The short game is what his struggles were today. He was struggling with distance control and that led to a lot of longer putts and missed opportunities.”  

ROUNDING out the day were Ethan Harris with a 109 and Parker Andres at 111.

“Both Ethan and Parker played pretty well,” Sellman said. “Both boys struggled off the tee. Long holes and a tough course will cause that for sure.”

As a team, the Mustangs took 11th.

“I asked the boys what they thought of the day and all of them agreed that they left 5 to 7 strokes each  on the course,” Sellman said. “They all agreed that today was a great learning experience.”