After missing the state title by four strokes and settling for second place in 2017, the MHS golf team was on a mission in 2018 to earn the state title. On Monday and Tuesday, October 1-2, at the Meadowbrook Golf Course in Taylorsville, the eight golfers on the Morgan team came together to make history and win a state title!
First, on Monday, day one of the state tournament, they shattered the school record for a total team round by nine shots hitting a 287 (one stroke under par) and led the field by 21 strokes.
Second, on Tuesday, they expanded their lead to 40 strokes and brought home the first state Boys’ Golf Championship since 1994-95.
Third, Morgan golfers occupied five of the top 10 individual spots, including the Medalist, Nathan Preslar.
“All in a day’s work for these young men,” according to MHS Head Coach Dennis Peterson. “This success speaks to how hard this group worked. It is all about these boys, and the time they put in.”
“These boys came to play, and it was an outstanding effort,” he continued. “We showed up yesterday ready to play and set a school record and were up by 21 shots at the end of the day.”
“Today is was a supposed to be a defensive day, and we increased our lead by 19,” he explained. “40 strokes!”
Not only did the team win the title in resounding fashion, but senior golfer Nathan Preslar claimed Medalist Honors finishing 1 under par, 72-71 – 143. Preslar finished with a one stroke lead over Emery’s Oakley Toomer, and four other Trojan golfers finished in the top ten to earn All-State Honors.
“It was a great way to end my season and my high school career,” Preslar shared when asked about his accomplishment. “On the second day I made a few more putts to get a lower score, despite the weather. Oakley and I were very close, but I think the turning point for me was to birdie the 14th, 15th and 16th holes in a row.”
Freshman Tanner Telford, who shot a tournament low 70 and led the pack after day one, finished fifth with a 78 on day two for a total of 148. Senior Matthew Millburn, who had been out with an injury for six weeks and only returned to play two weeks ago, completed the course one stroke behind Telford for sixth (75-74 – 149).
Fellow senior Drake Fawson earned eighth place with a 73-78 – 151 to best sophomore Brenden Vaughn by one stroke. Vaughn, who shot a career best by five strokes on Monday with a 72, scored 80 on Tuesday to claim ninth place.
“Every member of our team did well. It is not very often that we throw out a 75 from Millburn on Monday, but all eight of our golfers qualified for state, and everyone contributed. We used Preslar, Telford, Fawson, and Vaughn’s scores on Monday while on Tuesday we used Preslar, Millburn, Telford/Faswon, and Eric Watts’ scores. Every member of the team is important,” Peterson detailed.
Preslar’s individual championship was rewarding to him because he came to golf late and was able to see his hard work pay off. “I started golf my freshman year and didn’t really get serious until after playing basketball my freshman year. I realized my future was in golf and started to put in about four hours a day when the course was open. No one else in my family played golf, but now my younger sister Samantha does.”
“I couldn’t have done it without my coaches. They put in a lot of time, especially Dennis,” Preslar continued. “He is the best. He encourages us and keeps our mental game in check. He always reminds us that ‘we are never out of it’ and to keep playing.” Troy North and Doug Kearsley are assistant coaches for the Trojans.
Peterson also credits Round Valley Golf Course and its owners for their support of the team and players. “They have been a real sponsor to help with the development and improvement of the golfers.”
Peterson, who also coached the last state championship team in 1994-95 recalled, “We won that title back when Morgan was 2A, and there was no boys’ golf and girls’ golf. It was just golf, and if a girl wanted to play, she played on the boys’ team. Kacey Durrant Demond was on that championship team with a bunch of boys: Wes Little, Chris Spencer, Cole Rowser, Blake Nelson and others I can’t remember right now.”
Congratulations to Coach Peterson on continuing his golf legacy at Morgan High and to the 2018 3A State Champion Golf Team for setting a new school record, winning both the 2018 State and Region Championships and having five golfers earn All-State honors, including Medalist Nathan Preslar.
Team members include the following: Seniors-Nathan Preslar, Matthew Millburn, Drake Fawson and Bryce Nye; Sophomores-Nathan Millburn, Eric Watts, Brenden Vaughn and freshman-Tanner Telford.