The 2022 high school golf season is underway. While it is a new season, several familiar names and teams find themselves contending for titles again this year.

In 2021, the Upton girls and Thermopolis boys won the Class 2A team titles. Those two programs also had the state champions in Brooklyn Materi and Hardy Johnson, respectively. In Class 3A, it was the Wheatland girls and Riverton boys that finished on top. Both Lovell’s Erika Cook and Riverton’s Parker Paxton posted double-digit margins of victory to grab 3A medalist honors. Finally, in Class 4A, Haily Kalus of Kelly Walsh and Sheridan’s Brock Owings won individual titles. The Sheridan girls and Jackson boys were the team winners.

What about 2022? Nearly all of those same players and teams will be vying for a championship again. Class 2A will end in Wright at Hay Creek Golf Course. Class 3A has its finale in Buffalo at the Buffalo Golf Course. Class 4A’s championship will be at White Mountain Golf Course in Rock Springs.

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Class 2A

Top Returning Girls Players = Brooklyn Materi, Upton (two-time defending state champ, all-state for 3 years); Sheridan Schubarth, Sundance (state champ in 2019, all-state for 3 years); Ellie Holbrook (all-state 2021).

Top Girls Teams = Upton, Tongue River, Sundance

Top Returning Boys Players = Hadley Johnson, Thermopolis (state runner-up & all-state in 2021); Logan Timberman (third place & all-state in 2021); Carter Wood, Kemmerer (fourth place & all-state in 2021); Tate Pollard, Kemmerer (tied for sixth & all-state in 2021)

Top Boys Teams = Thermopolis, Kemmerer

2A Breakdown = The top 3 girls return in 2022. It looks to be a very competitive race for the top spot. The Upton girls are favored for the team crown but don’t count out the Eagles or Bulldogs. Four of the top seven return on the boys’ side. With a four-time champ having graduated, who will ascend to the top spot? It figures to be a tight race. Thermopolis has dominated the team race for four years. Is this the year that someone (Kemmerer) finally catches them? The Bobcats and Rangers will be in for a good battle.

Class 3A

Top Returning Girls Players = Erika Cook, Lovell (two-time defending champ, all-state 2 years); Isabell Salas (runner-up in 2021, all-state 2 years); Lily Nicholls, Wheatland (third place in 2021, all-state 2 years); Macy Jones, Wheatland (eighth in 2021, all-state 2 years); Bryley Waring, Wheatland (sixth in 2021, all-state last year).

Top Girls Teams = Wheatland, Green River, Lovell, Evanston (new to 3A this year)

Top Returning Boys Players = Parker Paxton, Riverton (two-time defending champ, all-state 2 years); Brodie Dale, Riverton (fifth place & all-state in 2021); Keehan Rickett, Buffalo (tied for sixth place & all-state in 2021); Sam Dolezal, Evanston (sixth at 4A state last year & all-state).

Top Boys Teams = Riverton, Worland, Evanston (new to 3A this year)

3A Breakdown = Both the girls and boys have two-time defending champions who have won by wide margins. The bigger question is can anyone make up enough ground to challenge Cook and Paxton? They may the two best golfers in the state, regardless of classification. What will be interesting is the impact of Evanston dropping down from Class 4A. Both Red Devil teams return good players, so they may be more of a factor than some realize. Still, the Wheatland girls and Riverton boys have good depth and high-level players to try to repeat as 3A state champs.

Class 4A

Top Returning Girls Players = Haily Kalus, Kelly Walsh (defending state champ & all-state in 2021); Carly Kalus, Kelly Walsh (tied for ninth & all-state in 2021); Samantha Spielman (state champ in 2020, all-state 3 years); Gabby Wright, Sheridan (runner-up in 2021, all-state 2 years).

Top Girls Teams = Sheridan, Kelly Walsh

Top Returning Boys Players = Brock Owings, Sheridan (defending state champ & all-state 2 years); Hayes Millham, Jackson (runner-up & all-state in 2021); Adam Russell, Jackson (all-state in 2020); Brodey Deacon, Kelly Walsh (tied for sixth & all-state in 2021); Petyon Wasson, Campbell County (all-state in 2021); Nash Coleman, Cheyenne East (conference champ in spring 2021); PJ Horsley, Star Valley (sixth in 3A in 2021 & all-state).

Top Boys Teams = Jackson, Sheridan, Kelly Walsh, Campbell County

4A Breakdown = The top three players on the girls’ side and the top two on the boys’ side return. Spielman has finished among the top three in all three previous years. Haily Kalus is coming off a one-shot win on tough courses in Jackson last fall. Wright made a jump last fall, as did Carly Kalus. All four and a few other outside contenders could make a push in Rock Springs. Sheridan and Kelly Walsh look to battle it out in the girls’ team race. Owings will have a shot to defend his crown earned in Jackson last year. A pair of Jackson Broncs, plus Deacon at KW, and others will be hot on his heels. The team race is intriguing because there are a lot of good teams with some depth that can challenge. Jackson, Sheridan, and Kelly Walsh are the early contenders, but there might be a surge from a couple of other squads. Star Valley is now in Class 4A, and the Braves have some individuals who could make some noise.

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