When the pressure was on, the Mercer Island Islanders boys golf team simply delivered.
During the regular season, the Islanders lost dual matchups against the Interlake Saints and Bellevue Wolverines, finishing with an overall record of 7-2.
The Islanders redeemed themselves in the postseason when it mattered the most.
Mercer Island won the KingCo 2A/3A golf tourney on Oct. 15 and the 3A SeaKing golf tournament on Oct. 23. The SeaKing tournament title guaranteed the Islanders golf squad a berth at the Class 3A state tournament this May.
“It is very exciting largely because it is a rare accomplishment that only one team can achieve,” Mercer Island head coach Tyson Peters said of his team winning two postseason tournaments. “We performed very average during the regular season. The coaches and the kids knew how good we could be if it all could come together at the right time. Luckily for all of us it came together in the postseason. The guys definitely delivered when it counted.”
Peters said his squad benefited greatly from the format of postseason action. During the regular season, a dual matchup consisted of just nine holes. During the KingCo and SeaKing tournaments, competitors went through a full 18 holes.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who play tournament golf outside of high school, so they actually feel more comfortable in a 18-hole tournament setting than a nine-hole match because they feel like if you have more time to recover from mistakes then you stay more mentally positive and strong over the course of five hours,” Peters explained. “A lot of golfers when they get to postseason they kind of wilt as things go poorly over 18 holes but my team actually thrived in that situation.”
Members of the state-bound Islanders golf roster consisted of Lukas Ayan, James Watson, Ethan Evans, Jack Dilworth and Camdon Gierke. The alternate is Henry Watson. While Peters is ecstatic his team advanced to the state tournament, he wishes his team could compete sooner rather than later.
“It is frustrating because my guys are peaking right now and they will wish they were playing on Monday in the state tournament,” Peters said during a phone interview on a Friday night. “We just got to put it (competition) on ice for the next six months.”