It's already been a banner year for boys sports at Summit.
The soccer team won its first 6A title. The football team made the 6A playoffs for the first time, reaching the quarterfinals. The basketball team went undefeated in the regular season and was the state runner-up.
Now, before the Storm returns to 5A in 2022-23, it's the golf team's turn.
Summit believed it had the best golf team in the state in 2021, but without a state tournament, didn't get a chance to prove it. This season, with that same lineup back, the Storm is going after the blue trophy.
“We definitely have a target on our back,” said Summit coach Andy Heinly, who guided Summit to 5A titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017. “Being this is our last year in 6A, they really want to prove something, as well.”
Summit's lineup – which features three college-bound seniors in Sam Renner (Washington State), Lucas Hughes (Grand Canyon) and Ethan Jaehn (Central Michigan) – is stacked.
“I've got seven kids that can break par right now,” Heinly said. “A couple of state championship teams we had were solid, but this group collectively is probably as good as I've had. They're all showing me that any of them can do it.”
The Storm was impressive in winning its first two tournaments this season.
In the 19-team Canby Invitational at Willamette Valley Country Club on March 14, Summit shot a 1-under-par 287 to beat Sunset (291), Jesuit (303) and Lincoln (308). Junior Nick Huffman (70) led the Storm, followed by Hughes (71), Renner (73), Jaehn (73) and junior Brody Grieb (75).
Sunset junior Kamal Singh shot 67 to finish first ahead of Newberg sophomore Ray Greiler (69), Jesuit senior Miles Eastman (69) and Corvallis senior Cole Rueck (70), who tied Huffman.
Summit shot 11-under in the Caldera Invitational, a tournament with Central Oregon teams at Lost Tracks Golf Club in Bend on March 16. The Storm held down the top five spots with Jaehn (66), Renner (68), Grieb (70), Huffman (73) and Hughes (74) to score 277, well ahead of runner-up Bend at 310.
Summit showed its depth at Lost Tracks when its second lineup, led by senior Myles Sanchez, shot nine-hole scores of 32, 34, 36 and 37. Sophomore Jacob Hansen shot a 65 in a practice round after the tournament.
The team is even deeper than last season, when its two lineups finished 1-2 in every Central Oregon tournament.
“We've been able to do that the last couple years,” Heinly said. “The two guys that don't make the top five or six for district and state, it's going to be tough because they're still going to be really good.”
Renner – who finished 27th in the 6A tournament in 2019, when the Storm placed third behind Jesuit and Mountainside – had a big summer.
He won a Future Champions of Golf event at Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City and was first in stroke play at the Oregon Junior Amateur at Buffalo Peak Golf Course in Union, where he shot 7-under. He also won two OGA Junior Golf tournaments.
Renner is among the top contenders for an individual state title.
“I've got two or three guys thinking they can win an individual title,” Heinly said. “They also know that there's another eight to 10 guys in the state, and they know them.”
Summit, Sunset and Lake Oswego appear to be the early favorites in 6A, where Jesuit is the three-time reigning state champion. Teams will get an idea of where they stand in the State Preview Tournament on April 26 at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, the site of the state tournament May 16-17.
The Storm also is hoping to get a test April 11 in the Grant Invitational at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland. The field will include a slew of Portland-area teams, including Lincoln, Central Catholic and Oregon Episcopal, the 3A/2A/1A champion in 2019.
“I just wanted to get over there so the guys can show me what they can do on a good golf course,” Heinly said.
Heinly likes how his players embrace the team concept.
“It's really been a fun group because they really are focusing on the team,” Heinly said. “They want to win as a team. They see the value in that. They're excited that each week somebody has stepped up, which is really cool.”