ACCOLADES GO OUT TO LA GRANDE GOLFERS

May 21, 2004 11:00 pm

Almost everyone knows about La Grande's record-shattering state champion boys' swim team.

Well, the celebrated swimmers have company up on that podium.

Congratulations are in order for the La Grande High School boys golfers, who picked up a state championship themselves this week — and they did it in record-breaking fashion.

Sisters, acknowledged as the golf powerhouse around the state, broke the 3A state tournament one-day record during the first day of the tourney. You couldn't have blamed the La Grande boys if they had just shook their heads after that performance and gave Sisters their due. Two of La Grande's better golfers on the team — Todd McAndie and Bill Waldrop — got off to a slow start that first day.

But, the La Grande boys didn't back down and came storming back on day two, breaking the two-day state record — by nine strokes. They ended up blowing Sisters away.

Who led the team on day two? McAndie, who shot 7-under-par over the last 27 holes, and Waldrop, who shot a 72 on day two.

The other golfers on the team, Tyler Tucker and Ricky Gloria, were also huge contributors at state. Corey Steele shot a great two-day score of 170, but the team is so deep his score didn't count toward the team score. Expect to see a couple of these kids on college golf programs.

Coach Don McAndie deserves a lot of credit for putting together such a strong program. Golf doesn't get as much attention as other high-profile sports such as basketball and football, and coverage of the boys team this season was further complicated by school administrative restrictions on the coach's access to the media. That doesn't detract from what the boys or coach McAndie accomplished, and they deserve plenty of accolades.