KEARNEY — For the second consecutive season, the Thayer Central boys golf team captured the Class D state championship and Jay Cottam was runner-up as an individual on Thursday at the Kearney Country Club.
But how the Titans earned those same results as a year ago was entirely different.
Thayer Central became the first golf team to repeat as champions since Class D was formed in 2008, earning a final team score of 666 after the two-day tournament. Heading into the final day, though, the Titans had just a two-stroke lead over Bancroft-Rosalie. In 2013, the team went into the second day of the tourney with a 20-stroke advantage.
Cottam, a junior, held the individual lead heading into the second day after shooting an even par 71 on Wednesday. But after shooting 8-over on day two, he ended in a tie with Humphrey-St. Francis’ Trevor Kosch at 150.
The two went into a playoff to decide the individual state champion on the par 5, No. 17 hole. Kosch, just a freshman, hit a solid approach on his third shot and sunk the easy birdie putt to beat out Cottam’s par and win the title.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Cottam said. “I knew that Trevor was a pretty good player, so I was trying to get birdie to make things tough on him. But he stuck it in close and he made his putt and I missed mine. He hit the shots that he needed to and I just fell apart at the end. It was more of a mental mistake than anything and it is what it is. I just have to live with that I guess.”