Fall Sports All-Aurora 2016: Regis Jesuit’s championship foursome leads All-Aurora boys golf team

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Regis Jesuit's Tyler Zhang, Cal McCoy, Drew Anderson, Justin Markel and Eaglecrest junior Davis Bryant on Wednesday Oct. 26, 2016 at Regis Jesuit High School. Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel
Members of the 2016 Aurora Sentinel All-Aurora Boys Golf Team, from left, Regis Jesuit’s Tyler Zhang, Cal McCoy, Drew Anderson, Justin Markel and Eaglecrest junior Davis Bryant pose together at Regis Jesuit High School. The Raiders won the Class 5A state championship while Bryant finished as the 5A individual runner-up. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

Another exceptional season for Aurora in boys golf resulted in a Class 5A state championship and a variety of outstanding individual showings.

The Aurora Sentinel’s 2016 All-Aurora Boys Golf Team — which is based on results from the Class 5A state tournament — is made up of the four members of Regis Jesuit’s title-winning team, along with two outstanding individuals in Eaglecrest junior Davis Bryant, the 5A runner-up, and senior Bradley Scalia of Cherokee Trail.

The Regis Jesuit foursome of seniors Tyler Zhang and Justin Markel and juniors Cal McCoy and Drew Anderson came through again in the clutch to deliver the program’s fifth state championship in the past six seasons. It was a second straight one-stroke victory for coach Craig Rogers’ group, this time over a Continental League rival in Highlands Ranch.

Regis Jesuit's Cal McCoy, Tyler Zhang, Justin Markel and Drew Anderson on Wednesday Oct. 26, 2016 at Regis Jesuit High School. Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel
In dramatic fashion, the Regis Jesuit boys golf team — from left, Cal McCoy, Tyler Zhang, Justin Markel and Drew Anderson — won the program’s sixth Class 5A state championship in seven seasons. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

Zhang — a Regis University recruit — finished his Regis Jesuit career with two 5A state titles in two seasons since he transferred from Highlands Ranch. He had a difficult second round at state, but his teammates picked him up.

“I feel good about winning it again and getting it against my old school,” Zhang said. “Winning it two years in a row is pretty hard. It’s hard enough to do it once.”

Zhang evaluated his play critically for the season, noting that he played very well during Continental League play, but was a bit disappointed in his performance at regionals and state. With rounds of 73 and 77, Zhang tied for 16th at state.

McCoy also returned from last season’s state championship winner and performed better with an increased level of comfort (only feeling nervous on the last two holes) as he earned a tie for sixth place individually, which he shared with Anderson. He carded a 73 to open, followed by a 71 on the final day.

Putting himself in better position with his driving was a key to the season for McCoy, who travels out of state at least once a month during the winter to play.

Anderson and Markel made significant impacts in their state tournament debut for Regis Jesuit after emerging from the Raiders’ rigorous tryout process.

Anderson didn’t start the season in the top five, but he worked his way into the varsity mix early and went on to excel at state. His 1-under 70 on the final day helped make the Raiders’ tight win possible and brought him in at 2-over for the tournament.

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Cherokee Trail senior Bradley Scalia qualified for the Class 5A boys state golf tournament for the fourth time in his career and recorded his best finish in 2016 when he tied for 16th. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Markel came into the season with supreme confidence in his game and he proved it from start to finish. He  tied for 14th (at plus-7) to give Regis Jesuit just the kind of performance it needed.

Bryant aimed to give Aurora the team and individual medalist titles, but Highlands Ranch’s Kyle Pearson was just too much. Bryant shot a 66 in the opening round and finished 3-under for the tournament, but that was still six strokes behind Pearson.

“I would have liked to finish it off and win it all, but I took a lot of positive things away from it,” Bryant said. “There are definitely things I learned that I can use next year and in the other tournaments I play in…To play 5-under after the first day and put myself in position was big for my confidence.”

Owner of easily the best state finish in Eaglecrest history, Bryant committed to Colorado State shortly after season’s end.

Scalia qualified for the state tournament four times and saved his best for last, as he finished in a tie for 16th with a group that also included Zhang. Scalia shot 75 in each of his state rounds to better his previous best finish of 17th, which he turned in as a freshman in 2013.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

2016 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-AURORA BOYS GOLF TEAM

First team: Drew Anderson, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Davis Bryant, Eaglecrest, jr.; Justin Markel, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Cal McCoy, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Bradley Scalia, Cherokee Trail, sr.; Tyler Zhang, Regis Jesuit, sr.

Honorable mention: Brandon Armitage, Grandview, sr.; Kyle Colen, Smoky Hill, sr.; Christopher Kennedy, Smoky Hill, soph.; Michael Milton, Gateway, sr.; Danny Taggart, Grandview, sr.