Hanford Champion
Year: 2006
Team: Golf (Boys)
Name: Josh Harvey - 3rd Place and Alex Moore - 10th Place
State Tournament - Second Place
He'll be back, and so will they.

Hanford freshman Josh Harvey was the object of persistence Wednesday at the 4A boys golf state tournament at Indian Canyon Golf Course, and his 1-over 73 earned him a third-place finish, behind winner Joel Dahmen of Clarkston and Austin Hurt of Bainbridge.

Along with Alex Moore's 2-over 146 that tied him for 10th, the Falcons finished second in the team standings to Mercer Island.

Four Falcons stood on the podium -- none of them seniors -- to receive their plaque, and it was clear that the future looks very bright for Hanford.

"They all worked hard, even the guys that didn't make the cut," said Hanford coach Chuck Wagner. "They'll all be back, and playing junior golf this summer."

And some will have a newfound confidence. Playing in the final group, Harvey strung together several tough pars and his 4-under 140 total was three back of Dahmen.

Harvey made 6-footers for par on the par-3 11th and the par-5 12th, and he knocked in a 15-footer for par on No. 13. The Falcons' star also got up and down on 14 from 60 yards out. So it was almost a shock to see his chip run well past the hole on No. 16 and him fail to make the lengthy downhill putt to keep his streak alive.

"I made a few clutch putts that got me going confidence wise, but it was a battle," Harvey said. "There are a lot of great players here; I figured I needed something really low like a 32 (to catch Dahmen) after being three back at the turn."

While Harvey was staying afloat, Dahmen made his move. After finding out Hurt -- who was playing one group ahead -- had got to within one stroke of him, Dahmen poured in birdies on No. 12 and 13 to distance himself. It didn't even matter that he bogeyed 15 and 16; he was well on his way to the title.

"I knew (Austin) was close; I didn't really feel nervous, I felt scared," Dahmen said. "I was just thinking, 'Lord, just get me in the clubhouse.' "

Moore got in the clubhouse with the same 73 he shot one day before. It was characterized by the same mixed results too.

"It was consistently mediocre," said Moore, who was nursing nine stitches in the middle finger on his right hand after injuring it Tuesday. "I made some bogeys but I always canceled them out. I'm just really proud of Josh. He got some exposure this week, and the whole team really did well."

FALCON GOLF NOTES - DAY ONE OF STATE TOURNAMENT

A Hanford name was expected near the top of the leaderboard at the 3A state tournament at Indian Canyon Golf Course, just not necessarily this one.

Alex Moore, who was in contention last season, fired a respectable 73, but it was freshman Josh Harvey that was the big story. Harvey carded a 67, despite recording three bogeys, and the young confident player finds himself one stroke back of Timberline's Cameron Peck and Clarkston's Joel Dahmen.

He isn't overwhelmed with his position either.

"I think mentally I can stay in it, I just need to come out and make some putts (today)," Harvey said. "This (short) course sets up well for me because I'm not the longest of hitters. I just played smart out her and it was one of those days where a lot of things went right."

Moore took two unplayable lies on bad drives that led to double bogeys, and never got into a rhythm.

"I feel like if I can get going (today) maybe I can post something low (like 65) and see what happens," Moore said. "This course takes the driver out of my hand a lot, which is one of my advantages."

The Falcons' Alex Cantu missed the cut with an 83, as did Matt Baide, by one shot, after a 76.

At Indian Canyons, cut 76

Top 15: 1, (tie) Cameron Peck, Timberline, 66, Joel Dahmen, Clarkston, 66; 3, Josh Harvey, Hanford, 67; 4, (tie) Austin Hurt, Bainbridge, 69, Cory Mehl, O'Dea, 69; 6, (tie) Jason Tolkin, Mercer Island, 70, Sandy Vaughan, O'Dea, 70; 8, (tie) Chris Holway, RA Long, 71, Garrett Miller, Eastside Catholic, 71, Matt Rawitzer, Squalicum, 71, Steven Bjornstad, Columbia River, 71; 12, (tie) Blake Blakey, South Whidbey, 72, Jens Bracht, Shorecrest, 72, Kyle Fitzsimmons, Seattle Prep, 72, Zavier Dailly, Burlington, 72.

FALCON GOLF NOTES - MAY 22, 2006

At 8:24 a.m. today at Indian Canyon Golf Course in Spokane, Hanford's Alex Moore will tee up at the 3A state tournament -- he'll be far from alone.

The Falcons' Josh Harvey will go at 9:20 a.m., followed by teammates Matt Baide at 10:16 a.m. and Alex Cantu at 10:32 a.m.

But just because there'll be a lot of purple represented, doesn't mean it will be warm and fuzzy. To each of them, the other three are just another set of opponents.

"They're all looking to see what I shoot, so they can let me hear about it if they beat me," Moore said. "And when they do (beat me), they do (let me hear about it)."

The essence of the Falcons' foursome is their competitiveness. It's their drive to beat eachother's brains in that make them a great team. And if all goes well during the next two days, somewhere within their quest to beat all comers, team success just might get in the way.

"This is without question the best group of youngsters I've had," said Hanford coach Chuck Wagner, whose seen his fair share of youngsters during the last 30 years. "Our goal is to take the state tourney. But they all want to win. Watching them is more like watching basketball or football players."

The fiesty group that includes two freshman -- Harvey and Cantu -- sophomore Baide, and Moore, a junior, helped Hanford record five tournament wins, four seconds, a third and a fourth.

And this season marks the first time the Falcons have sent more than two golfers to state in more than a decade. It could have been even more, but Casey Johnson, who accompanied Moore last season, and Jacob Hendrickson narrowly missed qualifying.

The quartet that is making the trip couldn't complement each other any more, on or off the course.

Moore and Cantu, at 5-foot-10 and 6-1 respectively, are the two long-hitters of the group. And while Moore is consistently longer, the team often has long-drive contests, and as Wagner put it, "Moore doesn't always win."

Harvey and Baide are shorter off the tee, though Baide has been called the best putter of the group.

"The key for me is just getting the speeds," Baide said. "You can have the line, but if you don't get the speed, you're done."

Baide, 5-foot-8, also is the most improved player of the bunch. He was the sixth-man as a freshman last year and shot a 92 at regionals. This year? A 76.

While Baide and Cantu are laid back and unassuming, Harvey is the resident fireball. The 5-foot-5 first-year player is the longest driver pound-for-pound -- he puts everything into his drives and can put it out around 270 -- and isn't afraid to say what he feels.

If given a choice, he said he would probably choose individual success over that of the team.

"I would love to have the team do well, but there are so many great players, and that part is kind of out of your control," Harvey said. "I'd rather do well personally, to help my confidence."

According to his teammates, Harvey certainly isn't lacking in confidence.

"You know how little dogs always do it with their bark, and will yelp at bigger dogs?" Moore asked. "That's how he is; he'll say anything to anyone. He's going to be good ... he already is."

All of them are the better for getting the chance to sharpen against one another. All are members at Horn Rapids, and play with and against each other on a regular basis.

"They've motivated me a lot," Cantu said. "It's a lot of fun playing with the older guys, it's helped me have a better mental game."

It's fitting that Moore should go off first today. And it's a familiar episode for all the youngsters, who once again will be giving chase.

Of the group's Horn Rapids battles, Harvey said, "(Moore) wins most of the time."

And as if unsettled by the thought, he quickly added, "but not all the time."