On March 14th, 2019, deep inside the Guthrie Golf and Country Club, Guthrie Head Coach Ric Meshew crossed his legs and sat back in his chair and thought about the question that was just asked to him. Could this Guthrie team be the best team in school history?
It was a loaded question. A lot of great teams have come through Guthrie. Being the head coach for 27 years, Meshew has seen them all. After thinking about it for a few seconds, he decided on the 1992 team, but he added one caveat.
“This team is chasing the ‘92 team for best team in school history,” Meshew said. “But if they go get that second title and win back-to-back, then it becomes a different story. Then they’ll have an argument.”
Anytime you’re arguing whether a team is the best team ever, especially when it spans a couple of decades, it becomes a little murky. You get into the different players in different eras with different courses and different levels of competition. Every state title team has an argument. But what you can’t argue is history. When a team does something that’s never been done before, it bolsters the résumé. It’s an added bit of street cred. Something you can use to say, “yeah, but did you ever?”
Fast forward 54 days. The Guthrie Bluejays entered the final day of the OSSAA Class 5A State Tournament with an 11-stroke lead. With nine holes left to play, there was an overwhelming sense of worry.
The Bluejays were struggling. The course was playing longer than the first two rounds on Monday and the pressure to close the deal on Tuesday was building with every errant shot.
At the turn, word was spreading that McGuinness was mounting a real comeback. The belief was that they had even surpassed the Bluejays.
The players had heard the chatter. As they saw each other walking from hole to hole, they began to ask for scores.
Instead of letting panic set in, the Bluejays settled in. That’s when three holes turned the tide of the of the tournament.
Bo Robbins got things going on hole 13. After his first shot left him blocked by a tree, he punched out to about 150 yards from the green. His approach shot landed on the front of the green and left him with a 60-foot putt for birdie. He drained it, and the momentum started to shift.
Luke Morgan followed that by birdieing 10 before chipping in for eagle on hole 12. The roar from the chip echoed through the corner of the course and that’s when everyone knew—the Bluejays were going to do it again.
Those three holes stabilized the front nine skid and allowed the Bluejays to distance themselves from second place.
Robbins put the team on his back on the final day, shooting a team-low 74. Morgan followed that with a 76. Brady Hirzel, Luke Dale, and Luke Roach rounded out the scoring with a 78, 80, and 81. The Bluejays finished the day with a 308. Their 11-stroke lead after day one was extended to a 28-stroke victory, as the Bluejays won back-to-back state titles for the first time in school history.
...Now back to the best team ever conversation?
“They have the argument now,” Meshew said. “I don’t know how you can argue against it now. The ‘92 team was really good, but no one has done what these guys have been able to do and they’re going to have a chance to do it again next year. I think they can argue that they’re the best team ever now. We like to go back and forth about it, but I think they have the upper hand now.”
Not only did the Bluejays make history by going back-to-back, they’ve also doubled the amount of championships in school history from two to four. Next season, they’ll look to make it five.
“We’ll absolutely be hungry again,” Morgan said. “Once that first tee shot happens at state next year, this one doesn’t really matter anymore. All we can do is put ourselves in position on the final day. I know everyone is going to work really hard over the summer. Once we all get back together next year, I’d say we like our chances...but we’re going to celebrate this one for a while.”
**This story will run in Saturday's edition of The Guthrie News Leader