AURORA | A lot of outstanding boys golf has been played in the Centennial League in recent years.

Still, a hole-in-one hadn’t been seen in league tournament play for more than a decade until Smoky Hill sophomore Paul Cleveland aced par 3 Hole No. 16 Thursday at Saddle Rock G.C. in the second tournament of the new season.

Smoky Hill's Paul Cleveland
Smoky Hill sophomore Paul Cleveland poses after his hole-in-one on Hole No. 16 at Saddle Rock G.C. on Aug. 15, 2013. (Photo courtesy Susie Solano)

Using a 7-iron, Cleveland drained his tee shot from 171 yards away for the first hole-in-one Centennial League coaches could remember in at least the last 12 years.

Cleveland’s tee shot was on a perfect line the whole way, landed 10 feet below the hole, took a big hop and slowly rolled into the hole as his playing group — which included Grandview’s Devyn Solano, Overland’s Joe Slocum and Mullen’s Evan Redd — watched from the elevated tee box.

“I’ve played that course a couple of times, so I knew where to hit it,” Cleveland said. “Really all I wanted was to get maybe a par or birdie, so I just took a 7 iron and swung easy. It landed in the middle and I thought it would stop maybe three feet short and just kept on rolling.

“When I saw it go in, I look at the other guys for a few seconds and they just jumping up and down.”

Cleveland — the first person in his family to record a hole-in-one — got to take his scorecard home to show his mother, who was in disbelief, while the rest of the family found out about it through Twitter.

His brother, Joey, a member of Smoky Hill’s varsity golf team last year, hit the roof when he heard the news.

“My brother was more than excited than me,” Paul Cleveland said. “He’s a really good and supportive brother and he was super excited.”

The ace wasn’t wasted, either, as it was part of a round of 75 that put Cleveland in a tie with Solano for third place individually behind medalist Will Matthews of Cherry Creek (70) and Arapahoe’s Sam Marley (71).

Solano again led the Wolves, who used their familiarity with their home course of Saddle Rock to finish second in the team standings behind Cherry Creek. The Bruins posted another double-digit victory as all five players finished in the top 10 individually.

Seniors Kyle Carr and Chad Tam — who each shot in the 80s in the opening tournament at Meadow Hills G.C. a week earlier — each recorded 77s to help Grandview, which moved into a tie with Cherokee Trail for third place in the overall Centennial League standings through two tournaments. Arapahoe sits second.

Third at Meadow Hills, the Cougars finished fourth this time, four strokes behind the Warriors. Sophomore Ji Woo Jang again led the Cougars with a 78, while Mitchell Nevin and Alex Anderson were next with 79s.

Cleveland’s performance lifted Smoky Hill to sixth place in the team standings, ahead of Eaglecrest, which was paced by senior Isaiah Dixon’s 88.

Slocum again was Overland’s only player and he finished with a round of 81.

The third Centennial League tournament of the season is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Aug. 21 at South Suburban G.C., the course Grandview won on last season.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel



Thursday, Aug. 15 at Saddle Rock Golf Course

Team scores: 1. Cherry Creek 298; 2. Grandview 310; 3. Arapahoe 314; 4. Cherokee Trail 318; 5. Mullen 321; 6. Smoky Hill 350; 7. Eaglecrest 381; Overland no score

Top 10 individuals: 1. Will Matthews (Cherry Creek) 70; 2. Sam Marley (Arapahoe) 71; T3. Paul Cleveland (Smoky Hill) 75; T3. Devyn Solano (Grandview) 75; T5. Jackson Burke (Cherry Creek) 76; T5. Subin Lee (Cherry Creek) 76; T5. Kobe Padilla (Cherry Creek) 76; T8. Kyle Carr (Grandview) 77; T8. Chad Tam (Grandview) 77; T8. Cole Edwards (Cherry Creek) 77

AURORA SCORES BY TEAM (in order of finish)

Cherokee Trail: Ji Woo Jang 78, Mitchell Nevin 79, Alex Anderson 79, Zach Goldsmith 82, Bradley Scalia 83; Eaglecrest: Isaiah Dixon 88, Justin Tyler 91, Alexandro Torres 100, Zach Ellis 102, Ryan Beaulieu 106; Grandview: Devyn Solano 75, Kyle Carr 77, Chad Tam 77, Danny Taggart 81, Mason Jowsey 84; Overland: Joe Slocum 81; Smoky Hill: Paul Cleveland 75, Kyle Colen 91, Jonathan Cook 92, Blake Foerster 92, Parker Friedertag 96

OTHER SCORES BY TEAM (in order of finish)

Arapahoe: Sam Marley 71, David Parker 79, Austin Lieneman 81, Austin Duffy 83, Garrett Peaker 89; Cherry Creek: Will Matthews 70, Jackson Burke 76, Kobe Padilla 76, Subin Lee 76, Cole Edwards 77; Mullen: Evan Redd 78, Chandler Wilson 78, Harris Butler 81, Mark Champine 84, Michael Phenicie 89

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...