By Randi Pierce
Pagosa Springs High School senior Taylor Cotts wrapped up his second appearance at the 3A boys’ golf state tournament Tuesday by tying for 56th out of the classification’s top 84 golfers.
“The course was good, the people over there were great, the weather was good, and he played … well,” coach Mark Faber said of the two-day tournament, which was held at the Dos Rios Golf Club in Gunnison. “I was proud of him, I really was. He stayed after it the whole time.”
Faber reported that Cotts shot an 89 on the par-71 course Monday, which he followed with an 84 on Tuesday.
“It was a tough golf course for him and the way he plays the game, it was an adjustment, and he did really well to adjust to it,” Faber said.
The coach noted that while Cotts didn’t play great, he was steady, played hard and had some great shots throughout the tournament.
He added that Cotts finished third among Intermountain League golfers at the event, behind a pair of Montezuma-Cortez golfers.
It was a good experience, Faber noted.
“I’m just really proud of the way he stayed after it and played, never gave up,” Faber said. “He’s been a joy to have for four years. … I’d take a whole team just like him from here on out. Just a good guy.”
Cotts is one of a trio of seniors who are wrapping up four years with the team, alongside Dylan Manzanares and Britain Peterson.
“It will seem a little strange next year not having any of them around,” Faber said.
Faber called the seniors “really nice young men” who were dedicated to trying to make themselves better and worked hard from the beginning.
He added that the golfers didn’t have a lot of experience, if any, prior to their freshman year, but they “came a really long way in four years to do what they did.”
But, while the seniors will be missed, Faber expressed optimism about the future.
“We really have a group of young men, most of them sophomores, that took a big step this year,” he said. “And if, if, they put the work in between now and next year, we should be very competitive as a team, we really should. … The ability’s there. … I’m excited about next year, I really am.”
Faber also reflected back on the season and that there was a time it was unknown if the season would even happen.
“Obviously it was different, but we tried to make it as normal for these guys as we could. I would say, all in all, it worked out very well for that part of it, so we were grateful for that,” he said, thanking the school and the golf course for making it work.