ILWACO, Wash. - The Ilwaco Fishermen will send five boys and an alternate to the State 1A Golf Tournament May 25 and 26 at Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland.
Ross and Ryan Kukula, Patrick Whealdon, Clark Wilson and Anthony Yoder earned the right to compete at state and the Fishermen won their fifth consecutive District IV golf title last October.
Ryan Tapio will play baseball this spring, but as an alternate could also compete at the state golf meet after baseball is over.
Last season, the Fishermen finished second to King's School at state using the WIAA's scoring method despite shooting 11 under par, while the private school from Seattle shot 21 over par. Coach Dan Whealdon said, "The key to our success will be having five guys make the cut for the second day of the state tournament."
Freshman Ross Kukula stunned the district crowd in October by finishing first after firing a round of 67 on the second day of competition. He passed up teammates Patrick Whealdon who was second and his brother Ryan Kukula who was third at district. Clark Wilson and Anthony Yoder, also freshmen, finished in the Top 10 at District IV and will be counted on to be in the top 40 of 80 1A golfers at state and earn points for Ilwaco.
Because the boys competed in the fall and had eight matches, they can begin organized practice 28 days before the state match. Ilwaco will compete in the prestigious Egbers Tournament and at Kelso in the Southwest Washington Invitational for all state qualifiers and alternates. Those two tourneys should be a great tune-up for what could very well be a strong run at a state crown for the Fishermen.
Last season senior Jack Whealdon finished second at state for the third season in a row and Todd Oakes was 12th. Both are competing at the collegiate level in golf this season.