NORTH PLATTE — Humphrey St. Francis senior Trevor Kosch put an exclamation point on his high school golf career at Wednesday’s Class D state tournament.
Kosch, already a two-time state champion, blew away the field at Lake Maloney Golf Club near North Platte, winning by 11 strokes to claim his third title.
The Telegram Super Senior was the only player to shoot a round of even-par or better at the tournament, and he did it on both days while carding a 2-under 142 over 36 holes.
“I’m excited to win by that much,” Kosch said. “It means a lot more to me than the last two (state titles).”
The victory also puts Kosch in some elite company.
Only three other players — Kevin Slocum of Franklin, Jeff Erwin of O’Neill and Jason Peterson of Oakland-Craig — have won three boys state golf titles in Nebraska, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Peterson’s last championship in 1989.
“To join that list means a lot to me,” said Kosch, who also won Class D titles as a freshman and junior. He missed a chance to become the state’s only four-time boys golf champion after getting disqualified for a rules violation at the 2015 state tournament.
Kosch opened this year’s tournament with an even-par 72 on Tuesday, giving him a four-stroke cushion heading into Day 2.
Although the scoring conditions were better on Wednesday, when the wind died down significantly, he didn’t make a strong push to go low.
The St. Francis senior birdied the opening hole — one of four birdies in his round of 70 — to go up six strokes over West Holt’s Mason Hale. Then the focus was on holding that lead.
“It was a conservative round, but I still hit driver all day,” Kosch said. “I was just playing away from trouble.”
Hale shot a 77 on Wednesday to take second place with a 153 total and Kyon Neal of McPherson County was third with a two-day total of 154. West Holt won the team title with a 661, edging defending champion Randolph by three strokes.
“There’s some tough holes out there,” said Kosch. “It makes sense how the scores weren’t real low.”
Kosch started working with his first swing coach, John Peterson, this year. He gave the Omaha man credit for his dominating performance this week.
“He helped a lot,” Kosch said.
St. Francis junior Riley Huettner also earned a medal at the Class D tournament.
He fired an 81 on Wednesday to finish with a two-day total of 165, tying him for 10th place.
“I feel pretty good with myself,” said Huettner, who was playing in his first state tournament. He qualified for state as a freshman but broke his wrist right before the event.
Huettner said the calmer conditions on Wednesday “definitely helped” as he lowered his score by three shots from Day 1.
“I pulled it together and shot a pretty good round,” he said.
The junior knows his experience this week will provide an advantage in 2018, when he hopes to climb even further up the leader board at the state tourney.
“I’d like to do better my senior year,” said Huettner, who has a top-five finish in mind.
Kosch has a full summer of events lined up before he heads south to join the University of Missouri-St. Louis men’s golf team.
He also has some newfound bragging rights over his older brothers Lance and Wes, who combined to win three Class C-2 titles from 1997 to 2000.
“I’ll let them know about it,” Kosch said of his family-leading third title.
But he stopped short of calling himself the best golfer in the group.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say that,” he said. “That’s getting myself in trouble.”