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Boys' golf coach of the year: Jason Kohl, Palmer
For most coaches, it was just one round. For Jason Kohl, it was a glimpse of potential.
When Jeff Doersch, the fourth-ranked player at Palmer, fired an even-par 72 at the Metro League opener, the Terror Invitational at Patty Jewett Golf Course, Kohl figured his team was more talented than the rest in the area. He figured he had something special.
“I knew we’d be better than pretty good,” he said. “I thought we’d be really good.”
His assumption later became reality, as Palmer, with undoubtedly its deepest squad in the 14 years Kohl has served as coach and an increased emphasis on short game preached by Kohl, won the 5A Metro title and qualified four players for the state tournament.
Colin Prater claimed the Metro championship before marking Palmer’s top finish at state, tied for 26th place, and in the Metro, Sam Hesselberg finished third, Shane Hausner took fourth and Doersch was fifth. Palmer placed ninth at state, won by Regis Jesuit.
Kohl said Hausner and Doersch “were quite a bit better than what everybody else had at the third and fourth spots,” adding his team “shot low pretty much every tournament, but it was usually a different guy leading. … All of them worked really hard in the offseason and got a lot better, a lot more consistent. They just consistently played well all year.”