Granger golfer Henry Leng was a bit of an underdog when the state tournament commenced last October.
He was a good golfer and people knew who he was, but they didn't necessarily think the junior would be a contender.
As Leng stepped into the damp sand near one of the holes at Talon's Cove Golf Course in Saratoga Springs, he intended to make himself known. He ignored the brisk wind in his face, drew back his sand wedge and sent the ball into the air. The ball came down out of the snow flurry-filled sky and landed about two feet from the green.
"It was really crazy, but I just had to deal with it," Leng said. "It took me a couple holes to figure it out."
Leng ended up finishing third in the tournament. If there were any doubters after that, Leng changed their minds Sept. 7 when he shot a 65 at Lakeside Golf Course. With that, he solidified himself as one of the favorites to win next week's state tournament at Riverbend Golf Course.
"He is definitely capable of winning it," Granger golf coach Shawn Crowther said. "He's a great athlete, but he's mentally tough too. Emotionally, he doesn't get too high or too low."
That steadiness is essential for the way Leng plays. He tends to earn a lot of birdies, but he also gets several bogies. His even-keeled approach has helped him stay composed.
From the time his father handed him a golf club when he was 4 years old, Leng has been preparing and working toward becoming the best high-school golfer in the state. He is better now than he ever has been, but he knows he'll be playing with a target on his back. The remainder of the field knows what Leng can do, and they will be gunning for him.
"The extra year has really helped me," Leng said. "I'm bigger and stronger, so I'm hitting the ball farther. For me, it's just going to come down to keeping my mental game on track. That will be the difference between finishing at the top and finishing in the middle of the pack."
Hunter bounces back
The preseason was not very kind to the Hunter volleyball team.
The Wolverines lost their final nine preseason matches, but they opened region play by winning three of their first four matches. The lone loss in that stretch came at the hands of defending region champion Taylorsville in five sets.
Bridgette Talia averaged more than 10 kills per match in the Warriors' wins over Granger and West. Taylorsville took a break from region play Tuesday to host Hillcrest, but the Warriors jump back into Region 2 on Tuesday when they travel to Kearns.
Kearns earns big win
The Cougar football team shook off a three-game losing streak by handing Taylorsville a 46-0 pounding in Week 6. Senior running back James Felila broke off four touchdown runs, three of which went for more than 40 yards. Felila is now third in class 5A with 10 touchdown runs.
Kearns will go for its second straight win when it hosts West on Friday.