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Lakewood’s Jack Castiglia will be making his fourth appearance in the Class 5A boys state golf tournament and the senior has something to prove.
Castiglia was this season’s Jefferson County League 5A medalist with a stroke average of 70, but he is the first to admit the two-day state tournament is different from regular season tourneys and the regional qualifying.
In the previous three state tournaments, Castiglia’s resume shows a tie for 37th place as a freshman then ties for 28th and 35th the next two years.
The Class 5A state tournament is scheduled for Oct. 2-3 at Common Ground Golf Course in Aurora.
“You can definitely feel a more competitive vibe,” said Castiglia. “Everyone is there because they deserve to be there after doing good in their regionals. Everyone is there to try to defend their school and play as well as possible. It’s also run more professionally and it brings out the best golf in everybody.”
Castiglia was second in the 5A Western regional with an even-par 72 at the Broadlands Golf Course on Sept. 18 and the University of Northern Colorado commit is ready to show his ability in the biggest high school tourney of the season.
“I have something to prove,” he said. “I definitely haven’t proved anything in the past three state tournaments. My freshman year I was young and actually didn’t play that bad. But my sophomore and junior years I didn’t play like I did during the season and didn’t show what I can do.
“I played good this year. I made a grip change after last year’s state and I’ve been working with it. I have to prove that I got used to it and I have to play as well as possible.”
There will be attention on several area golfers and teams that also have something to prove.
Arapahoe won the 5A Western regional qualifying tournament on Sept. 18 at Broadlands Golf Club and Heritage won the Southern regional at the Colorado Springs Country Club. Rock Canyon qualified its four-player team with a runner-up finish in the 5A Central at Plum Creek and Valor Christian was the 4A Region 4 champion in the tournament played Sept. 19 at the Colorado Springs Country Club. Lutheran was second to qualify as a team in the 3A region 1 meet at Hollydot.
Tommy Packer of Arapahoe fashioned a 1-under-par 71 to win the Western regionals individual title and Heritage’s Sam Blackwood was the co-medalist at the Southern regional with a 1-under-par 70. Rock Canyon’s Kieran McMullen shared medalist honors at the Central regional.
Packer was 12th in the state tourney last season and Backwood tied for 24th.
Playing steady will be a key.
“You have to stay consistent and not make any big mistakes, especially at Common Ground,” explained Castiglia. “You have to take advantage of some of the easier holes because some of the holes coming down the stretch can really get to you.”
Frozen Four moves to Pepsi Center
Semifinal games and the 2018 state boys hockey final will be held at the Pepsi Center.
The Colorado Avalanche will host the semifinal games at 5:30 and 7 p.m. on March 1 and the championship game on March 6, with the time to be determined.
Last season’s Frozen Four games were held at Magness Arena at the University of Denver.
Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 303-566-4083.
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