Yoe golf prepared for first ever trip to state

It was just a year ago when Nikolas Keratsopoulos jumped onto the high school golf scene. As a freshmen, the Yoe High golfer had a significant amount of pressure on his shoulders as the lone player from Cameron at the event. Keratsopoulos handled the moment like a seasoned senior, finishing in third overall with a bronze medal.


Following play, Keratsopoulos noted how he desired to return to state next season - with the rest of Yoe teammates. Fast forward a year later, and mission accomplished as Keratsopoulos and his fellow Yoemen are now set to play for all the marbles at the state golf tournament in Austin.


“Being the first team on the boys side to go to state is big,” said Keratsopoulos Going to state as a team is going to add a lot of motivation and relaxation to myself, because I am around them and enjoying the time together.”


The state tournament will be held at the same location as last year - Grey Rock Golf Course in Austin. Keratsopoulos understands that his experience at the course will not only help himself, but also his teammates.


“Finishing tied for second will help with confidence knowing that I have played good at that course before,” said Keratsopoulos. “I have to just go out there and help in our practice rounds. I’m not sure what we’re going in rankings wise, but hopefully we can finish inside the top eight. We are a young team and hopefully we can be back next year.”


Yoe High senior Andrew Ortiz has been with the golf program dating all the way back to his days in junior high. Ortiz could think of nothing better than going out in the last tournament that any high school golfer could compete in.


“I love playing this game,” said Ortiz. “Going to state is big for me being the first senior and it’s a huge honor.”


After that, you have two more sophomores and a freshmen that make up a young roster. The first of those is Stockton Kruse. At regionals, the Yoemen sat in sixth place after one round of play. Cameron ended up finishing in second, improving from a 366 in round one to a 351 in round two.


A big reason for the jump was Kruse’s 15-stroke improvement from a 104 to 89. “I had to make sure I stayed focused and make sure I took away all the two-puts,” said Kruse. Kruse also noted how he felt him and his teammates are currently playing some of their best golf of the year.


“I think we are peaking right now and I think we can finish in the top eight.”


Luke Green was also just a freshman on last year’s team that fell just short of advancing out of district. The mindset has changed following a year of experience.


“We took district a little more seriously this year and we knew how important it was to go to state,” said Green. “We want to actually do good at state and we are not satisfied with just going. We just knew we couldn't make mental mistakes and recognize that the most important shot is the next shot, stay in it, and have a great attitude.”


Finally, you have another freshman standout in Kobe Young. Young has only been playing with this team for a few months, but most recently made his impact felt at regionals with an 185, which was second best on the team.


“It’s been fun playing with my friends and coaches,” said Young. “I’ve just been hitting them straight, taking my time and not taking off strokes. It’s pretty good being the first team to go to state.”


Cameron will tee off in Austin at 8:50 a.m. on Monday morning.