Watch Out For The Kellogg Wildcats At State Golf
Published: 4/12/2017 12:50:59 PM
Head Coach Simon Miller has no problem if people start to look at Kellogg High as a “golf school.”
Photo credit: LifeTouch
Coeur d’Alene High is considered one of the pre-eminent football programs in Idaho. Borah High has a long and storied basketball history and nearby Timberline High has a sustained run of excellence in baseball. The Firth boys have had an incredible run of success in basketball as well and the Timberlake girls basketball team has made a habit recently of playing deep into the state tournament.
With that in mind, Simon Miller has no problem if people start to look at Kellogg High as a “golf school.”
“It was a goal of mine when I took over the head coach position in 2004,” the veteran coach of both the boys and girls programs told IdahoSports.com. “I wanted to get to state every year.”
His teams have come pretty close.
The KHS girls are the defending 3A state champion and have reached the state championships 13 consecutive years. Along with that, the team has won 13 straight Intermountain League and District championships as well. The boys program has an impressive run of its own going – 14 straight berths in the state championship field, one state title, and District I titles in 11 of the past 14 seasons.
And the run may not be over. The KHS girls have just one senior (Kylie Robinson) on the roster and have a sophomore (Kat Rauenhorst) playing in the number one role with a junior (Morgan Nusz) in the number three slot. Four of the five girls who won last spring’s state team title are back on the course for Kellogg this season. Rauenhorst finished fourth individually and Miller pointed out it was Nusz, who cut nine strokes off her day-one score, who pushed Kellogg over the top on day two to win the state title.
As for the boys, there’s nary a senior on the roster. Junior Tyler Gibbons, who finished seventh in the individual competition last spring as a sophomore, returns along with fellow juniors Cade Finlay, Hogan Samuelson and Chase Jerome atop the team’s lineup.
When asked what it is that makes Kellogg so consistent on the links, Miller – a KHS grad and onetime varsity golfer himself – deferred to those around him.
“It starts with the golf community at Pinehurst Golf Course,” Miller said of the team’s home course in Kellogg. “There are generations of members that support junior golf in a myriad of ways. Stan Edwards, who passed away a while ago, was the pro at PGC for years and worked with other members to have a junior program every summer.”
Miller gave credit to many others as well, from parents and volunteers to current Pinehurst Clubhouse Manager Thad Samuelson (Hogan’s father) and Travis Fulton, who is currently the lead instructor at the Golf Channel Academy.
“I’ve gleaned so much from Travis over the last 20 years that I can’t even keep track,” Miller admitted of his onetime golf pupil. “He’s been a great mentor to me in golf instruction.”
The long, snow-filled winter was tough on Miller and his players as they prepared for the season, just like many golf programs in Idaho, but the Wildcats are starting to find their stride. The boys shot a 147 team score recently, which Miller says is the best team score on record for the school since at least 1988.
Kellogg will host the District I golf championships at Pinehurst Golf Course on May 8. This year’s 3A State Golf Championships will be held May 15-16 at the Idaho Falls Country Club in Idaho Falls.