The Palmyra boys golf team fired a team score of 348 on Tuesday for the second consecutive round to secure third place in the Class 2 state championships.
Some members of the Palmyra boys golf team forgot it was coach Marty Smyser’s birthday Tuesday.
But the squad had a backup plan for a birthday gift.
The Panthers fired a team score of 348 for the second straight day to secure third place in the Class 2 state championships played at Meadow Lake Acres Country Club.
“That is a pretty good gift,” the Panthers coach said. “I am very proud of the boys today and this week.”
Bishop LeBlond dominated the field with a two-day score of 599 for a new Class 2 state record.
Christian finished second with a 665, followed by Palmyra’s 698.
The third-place trophy represents the second straight year the Panthers have brought home a top-three trophy from the state meet.
Palmyra lost four of its top five golfers to graduation from last season’s second-place team finish.
“If you would have told me at the beginning of this season we would get here and bring back another trophy, I probably would have told you we exceeded our expectations,” Smyser admitted. “I always felt like we had some guys who could play well, and we just happened to make a really good push at the end of the season.”
It also helps to have one player at the top of the leaderboard.
Laithan Sublette, the Panthers lone returning varsity player from last year, finished his stellar high school career with a fourth-place individual medal.
The senior, who has not decided where he will play in college, carded a pair of 76s.
Bishop LeBlond took the top three places, with Brooks Jungbluth winning medalist honors with a 137. Jungbluth fired a blistering 6-under-par on Tuesday.
Sublette carded three birdies on the front nine and finished the second round with four total birdies. But a double bogey on each side prevented him from making a run into the top three.
“I just hit some uncharacteristic shots today,” the senior said. “I guess you could say not very focused swings on some of those last few holes. It’s hard knowing you don’t have a chance (to win). Today was just another grind.”
Smyser mentioned the senior will be able to appreciate just how well he played in the near future.
“He set some lofty goals for himself this season,” the Panthers coach said of Sublette. “And that is good thing. He didn’t meet some of those goals today, but in a couple hours or a couple days he will understand just what he did.
“He’s been an exceptional kid and golfer for us. I will definitely miss him as a player and as a fine young man.”
Sublette finished with all-state honors for the second straight season, as he placed fifth last season.
“It’s sad my career is over, but I am happy to be surrounded by such great teammates and people,” he said.
Brady Shively had a bounce-back round for the Panthers. The freshman shot nine strokes better on Tuesday than he did during the first round.
Shively sank a 30-foot putt to save par on hole No. 2, which gave him confidence.
“That was the longest putt I have ever made so I was pretty hyped for the rest of the round,” the freshman said of his save on the par 4 hole. “I felt like it was going to be a good round after that putt.”
Shively finished with seven other pars for his round.
“As a freshman, that is a really good round for Brady,” Smyser said.
Brock Bollin carded a 94 and Ragar McKinney rounded out the scoring for the Panthers with a 95.
Mason Burch, who shot a 90 on Monday, finished with a 99.
With Sublette the only varsity player the Panthers will lose to graduation, Smyser is hoping for big things again next year.
“All of these guys got a lot of learning this week just from being here and experiencing what all of this is like,” the coach said. “Now they just have to put in the work in the offseason and try to get back next year.”