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Prep Golf: Kingman Academy wins season opener at Cerbat Cliffs

Kingman Academy’s Jacob Heppler finished second Monday with an 11-over-par 47, as the Tigers took first at Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course.

Photo by Beau Bearden.

Kingman Academy’s Jacob Heppler finished second Monday with an 11-over-par 47, as the Tigers took first at Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course.

KINGMAN – Jake Scott knew he had to account for the wind as the Kingman Academy sophomore prepared to shoot over the pond on hole No. 9 Monday at Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course.

Scott did that and more as he sent a drive high into the air that landed gracefully on the green.

“I actually thought I was going to hit that too short,” Scott said. “But then it was good distance and it turned out as a good shot.”

Scott ended the day with a 6-over-par 42 to take first place as the Academy shot a 59-over-par 203 to outduel Basis Flagstaff (222) and River Valley (269).

While the Tigers were victorious, Scott still felt like he left a little out on the course.

“I played pretty good,” he said. “Not as good as I could have, but I think it’s just nerves from the first match. I just need to work on my putting and I’ll be playing great.”

Jacob Heppler experienced those same first-match jitters, but he found his groove late and finished second overall with an 11-over-par 47.

“I started off a bit rocky,” Heppler said. “But then once I got the hang of it, I finished off strong with two pars at the end.”

The late-match success could very well be due to playing on their home course and Scott took a moment to talk about that benefit.

“It’s definitely an advantage being at home just because of the greens,” Scott said. “They’re really quick – a lot quicker than other greens. We know all the breaks because we play here all the time. So it’s definitely an advantage.”

Rounding out the Academy’s top five were Amanda Villeso and April Sorace in a tie for fifth (21-over-par 57) and Ashlee Steed in a tie for 13th.

“It is always nice to start the season with a team win and to take four of the top six spots for individuals,” said Academy head coach BJ Maticic. “Jake did well in his first place round. He had a few rough holes, but he did a good job putting it behind him after walking to the next hole.

“Jacob seems to be getting back into his rhythm and I am looking for him to bounce back Thursday, but he still played well enough to take second place. April Sorace, and Amanda Villeso both tied for fifth place. I am really excited for them and look forward to see their improvement this season.”

Next up for the Academy is a trip to Wickenburg Thursday for a match against Chino Valley and Wickenburg.