Jackson Hole High School golf

Jackson Hole High School golf coach Ryan Allen helps senior Jake Coosaia straighten out his drives during the team’s first practice of the season last August at Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club.

Excitement is rising as the Jackson Hole High School boys and girls golf teams prepare to head to Pinehurst, North Carolina, to compete in the 2021 High School Golf National Invitational. This tournament will be the first time the Broncs will compete outside the Cowboy State as a team, much less represent their school at the national level.

The three-day tournament follows a 54-stroke play layout including team and individual competition. The girls tournament runs June 25 to 28, and the boys tournament follows from June 28 to 30. The Broncs will be competing against teams from 48 other states, and a total of 560 golfers.

This tournament brings together teams from across the country, including a range of golfers from public and private schools, large and small schools, to play on the hallowed grounds of the U.S. Open.

This journey to the national level started last fall when both the girls and boys team finished runner-up at the 4A Wyoming State Golf Championship. The national invite-only tournament typically can be attended by winning a state championship. However, teams can fill out a merit-based application and receive an invite through that avenue. Coach Ryan Allen decided to reach out to the tournament director and fill out the application, resulting in both teams’ invitations. Coach Allen said that Jackson is “the only high school in the country to have both a boys and girls team going.”

“The biggest thing for me honestly, is that the kids get new experiences and play around the country,” Allen said.

With the support of parents and coaches, the possibility of traveling to Pinehurst became a reality for the high school golfers. The team advertised a fundraising raffle throughout the season that helped offset the cost of vans, meals, etc. Pinehurst also helped accommodate the wide variety of students hosted and lowered the cost of play.

The competing team will be five newly graduated girls and six boys: three rising seniors and three underclassmen. The girls team is strong, having gone through the last two seasons essentially undefeated. However, as graduates, they are in a unique position and will take this national experience with them into the next chapter of their lives.

Coming off her high school golf career, Jacqueline Neishabouri will head to Connecticut this fall to play Division III golf for Wesleyan University in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

The national tournament lets the girls team finish their high school golf careers on an unprecedented stage.

“I am most looking forward to spending quality time with my team for the last time and meeting new people from all over the U.S.,” Sara White said.

In a different age situation than the girls, the boys are entering this tournament with their sights set on the rest of their high school career, and potentially college. The boys team won the 4A West Conference Championship in the spring, and are looking forward to making a debut nationally.

The tournament may open doors to various opportunities for these small-town golfers.

Coach Allen told the News&Guide earlier this year that “a lot of coaches will be at Pinehurst; this is just an opportunity for them to jump on the radar of some of these coaches and just see.

“You never know what can happen.”

Contact Annie Estes via 732-7071 or jlove@jhnewsandguide.com.

Editor in Chief Johanna Love has covered the Jackson Hole community as part of the News&Guide staff since 1998. She took the helm of the newsroom in 2017. She fields story tips and kudos as well as criticism and questions.

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