Hays wins 4A state championship

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Ulysses, Kan. A year after finishing fifth at state, Hays won the 2016 4A state championship as a team Monday, shooting a 312. The Indians beat out Rose Hill by three strokes for their first state title since 1996.

“Since we’ve been down to 4A, the opportunity has been a little bit better because 5A is a lot tougher, but we’re really pleased and they played well today,” Hays head golf coach Mark Watts said. “It’s hard to explain but when you’ve been doing this for 27 years and you’re able to win a state championship, it’s all on them. I’m just the bus driver. I get them to and from the tournament safe so I couldn’t be more proud of the team.”

Indians’ freshman Tradgon McCrae led the way, finishing just one stroke shy of the day’s best (Chanute’s Clete Carlson’s 74), with a 75. He went into a sudden death playoff and finished fifth individually.

“He doesn’t play like a freshman,” Coach Watts said. “He didn’t hit a driver on the back nine. He hit a five iron all the way around, kept it in play and was able to score well. It’s a good experience for him and we’re expecting big things next year too.”