Banner day for Baumgart, Irish boys

Ryan Baumgart defends his state golf championship as DeSales brings home the state team title.

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TACOMA - Ryan Baumgart is happy after defending his Class 2B state golf championship, don't get him wrong.

But he's already got his sights set on summer golf, critical to his goal of playing in college.

The DeSales junior finished up his second consecutive state title shooting a 78 Wednesday at a rainy Oakbrook Golf and Country Club. That followed Tuesday's first-round 73 and a 151 total.

He won by 10 strokes over Rainier Christian's Josh Schireman.

"We won the team championship and I got better as the season went on, which is what I wanted to do," Baumgart said this morning. "I still have some stuff I want to shore up, but overall it was a successful season, definitely."

"Obviously that (state title) was his goal, and he accomplished it," DeSales coach Lon Olson said. "He would have liked to have somebody pushing him a little harder, but he's just on a different level. You have to appreciate that Ryan not only wants the competition, but needs the competition to keep improving. Nobody worked harder than Ryan to accomplish what he did."

Baumgart said he tried to put the pressure of repeating as state champion out of his mind.

"I tried to not think about it too much," he said. "There was a little bit of that feeling (of pressure), but I just tried not to think about it."

And he handled the conditions, as well.

"The weather was tougher than the first day," Baumgart said of Wednesday's final round. "It was still an off-and-on rain, but when it rained it was pouring down rain.

"I played well on Tuesday," he said of his tournament. I didn't play as well yesterday as I wanted to. There's definitely some things I want to work on, but it was good."

Baumgart's victory combined with Irish teammates Bryce Scott's tie for eighth (85-87-172) and Jerod Konen's tie for 13th (88-86-174) to give DeSales its first golf championship.

"To win a team championship was good, too," Baumgart said. "It was cool, it was definitely real cool to see it (the team championship). In our gym there are a bunch of football and basketball banners, so it will be fun to see a golf one up there.

"It will be fun to go to school today and have every one tell us good job and stuff, because we've never had a good golf team before," he said.

"It's a whew!," Irish coach Lon Olson said of the team title. "The golf gods were on our side and everything worked out. Knowing you have a chance to win it from a year ago, with the anticipation and finally accomplishing it, is pretty satisifying."

The Irish finished second in the team standings last season.

"There's a lot that goes into it," Olson said of winning the championship, both team and individually. "They're dedicated kids, but you still have to go out there and do it. They did an outstanding job of hanging in there and taking care of business. They knew it was there to win. I couldn't be prouder of them."

And the weather in Tacoma made the tournament interesting.

"We really had to maintain over there, it was a grind," Olson said. "We didn't have three holes over the two days where it didn't rain. It was a drizzle to a downpour. It was really a tribute to the kids for hanging in there.

"What really won it was consistency," he said. "Ryan led from the get-go. Bryce and Jerod were even (equaling Tuesday's first round score on Wednesday). They were disappointed by their 87 and 86, but with those conditions it was good."

The Irish won the team title with 109 points. Colfax was next with 94.5.

"We definitely needed all three guys to shoot two consistent rounds, and that's what they did," Olson said. "Now their goal is to go back-to-back. Colfax loses two of four (golfers), and I don't see anybody else coming in with the history we have."

Most telling, Olson said, is the attitude among the Irish golfers with all of them returning next year.

"They want to go play golf tomorrow," he said. "That's the real key to success."

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