All the hard work put forth in the offseason appears to be paying dividends for the Minot High boys golf team.
It was evident Monday at Souris Valley Golf Course, where the Magicians claimed the nine-team Minot Invite with a team score of 314. Minot edged Jamestown by a single stroke to win its home tournament. Century (322), Bismarck (337) and St. Mary's (338) rounded out the top five.
"We didn't win this golf tournament because of just how they played today," Minot coach Shane Hannegrefs said. "It's the extra work they've been putting in. We have some kids who have spent hours and hours extra.
"In order to spend those extra hours, we had people who supported us to give us chances to do that. We have great support in the community for the golf team."
Minot senior Jersey Kelly shot a team-best 75 and tied for second with Century's Drew Lingle. Kelly birdied the first hole and added two more on the back nine. Kelly finished the back nine with an even-par 36.
"It's the first tournament (we've) won all my career," Kelly said. "Course played well. There were shots lost, but other than that it was a pretty good tournament."
Minot sophomore Cody Reynolds and senior Taran Albright also placed in the top 10. Reynolds shook off a 6-over 42 on the front nine by shooting even par on the back nine.
"I just grinded it out and played for par," Reynolds said of his final nine holes. "I wasn't trying to do too much."
Reynolds bogeyed his first three holes and five of his first seven. His luck turned around on the 11th hole when an arrant shot hit off his dad's arm to the left of the fairway and stayed in play. Reynolds pared the 11th and finished 2-under on his final five holes. He chipped in for birdie on the 18th.
"There were plenty of hard holes and plenty of accessible holes," Hannegrefs said. "You saw some good scores. There were 10 kids who shot in the 70s. But if you didn't get it in the fairway, you didn't get it up and around the green, it was difficult to score. There weren't a lot of birdies, but kids who could grind out and make a par, those are the kids who ended up with the best scores today."
Albright didn't record a birdie, but made 12 pars on the round. He finished with a 79.
"It's a great first step," Hannegrefs said. "It's great for our kids. It gives them some confidence knowing we can compete at a high level and we're in that top tier of golf teams in the west and hopefully around the state."
Jamestown's Austin Rene shot a 1-over 73 to earn medalist honors.
The Magicians compete in the East-West Crossover tournament in Jamestown on Friday and Saturday.
Mike Kraft covers Minot High athletics. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft24_MDN.