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Titans bring experience into Class B state tournament

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson Trinity sophomore Willy Jahner putts on Hole No. 9 during the Region 5 Tournament on May 15 at Bully Pulpit Golf Course.

The Dickinson Trinity boys golf team capitalized on its best golfing opportunity of the season May 15 at the Region 5 Tournament at Bully Pulpit Golf Course.

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The Titans shot a season-low 303 team score in the sunny skies and light breeze south of Medora.

The season-low round was all the confidence Trinity needed going into the final week of practice before the start of North Dakota Class B state golf tournament, which begins today at Rose Creek Golf Course in Fargo.

“When the weather is like it was in Medora, these guys don’t have to worry about adjusting,” Trinity head coach Tyler Reisenauer said. “When it so windy, you have to adjust everything. It mentally gets you out of your routine. To finally get a nice day, the scores showed.”

Willy Jahner, a sophomore, led the charge for the Titans all season. The sophomore posted his career-best performance during the Region 5 Tournament with a 68. Jahner shot four-under par on the back nine at Bully Pulpit.

“Everyone played really well there,” Jahner said. “We have a lot of momentum going into state. We have a good week of practice. Hopefully, the weather cooperates, but everyone is out (at the Heart River Golf Course) until dark. We are practicing really hard.”

However, the Titans have four golfers with state tournament experience: senior David Pokorny, junior Connor Friske and sophomore Jaret Lee. The four have played in at least one — if not multiple — state tournaments.

“The things that we are going good, we are making sure that we are doing them better,” Pokorny said. “We’ve spent a lot of time playing and working on our swings. Tyler is helping us on working on some small fixes that we might need, but we are pretty solid right now.”

While the Titans are experienced, sophomore Koty Pokorny — the younger brother of David — will be playing in his first state tournament. He has been in the varsity lineup the entire spring.

David Pokorny said it has been great to play at the varsity level with his brother for the entire season.

“It’s good to see that he’s gotten pretty good over the last couple of years,” David Pokorny said. “Our family only started golfing probably five years ago. It’s good that we both getting comfortable with it. It’s enjoyable.”

The Titans aren’t strangers to some of the top teams in the East. Trinity played many of the best East teams during the two-day East-West Shootout on May 3.

At the tournament, Jahner finished runner-up to defending state champion Nick Myhre of Northern Lights.

“In the state tournament, there are always nerves,” Jahner said. “With the experience, we learned to control those nerves a little bit more. We just need to have a good first day to get those nerves out of there.”

The Titans don’t want to recreate the feelings after the first day of last year’s state tournament. Trinity shot a season-high 337, but responded with a 323 during the second day to finish runner-up in the state.

Reisenauer said the team is staying loose and relaxed. He believes they put too much pressure on themselves to win a state championship rather than going out and playing.

“We are going to eliminate the added pressure to a state tournament,” Reisenauer said. “We are just going to go out there and play like we know how. We are going to let the good shots happen instead of forcing it. That’s going to be the biggest thing for us.”

Jahner’s family is quite familiar with winning a state championship. His older sister, Rachel Jahner, won the Class A girls title in the fall. Their cousin, Chivas Beaudoin, also won a state title for the Dickinson High girls golf team in 2005 and went on to play at the University of North Dakota.

The sophomore said his family asks him when he’s going to win a state championship.

“They always have that one up on me,” Jahner said with a smile. “It kind of makes me mad, but it makes me want it more. It’s probably a good thing.”