By John Hamilton

    New Thompson Falls High School golf coach Lance Pavlik is a pro-active pro.

    He’s excited about his new task in life, and wants to get on with it.

    Taking over from previous coach Gary Thompson, who has moved on to coach in the Lady Hawk softball program, Pavlik, who works at River’s Bend Golf Course, says he has 12 boys and five girls out for the Thompson Falls golf team, and looks forward to an interesting season.

    “We’re anxious to get going,” he said. “We have some good kids coming back, now it’s just a matter of making it happen.

    On the boys side at least, this year’s team has a lot to live up to as the Hawks won the Western B divisional championship and then took fifth in team scoring at the State B tournament.

    At State last spring, senior Dan Banker led the Hawks to the fifth place showing with a team-best two-round score of 158, and juniors RT Brown (164), Erik Gilbert (165) and Brandon Damaskos (168) followed in tight fairway formation.

    The other Hawk golfer with State B experience, Cody Mosher and twin brother Jesse, and fellow juniors Nathan Nigh, John Buckingham and Beau Jensen, sophomores Tanner Gascon, Brandon Wakefield and John Owens, and freshman Shawn Barnes round out the boys team.

    Juniors Emily Brown, Ciara Normandeau and Tarah Wakefield, sophomore Emily LaFriniere and freshman Sanghee Lee comprise the Thompson Falls girls’ golfing team.

    John and Barb Mosher are assistant coaches for the program, and Jeanne Cox is currently employed as a volunteer coach/overseer, Pavlik said.

    Thompson Falls was to have opened the golf season at the Deer Lodge Invitational April 5 but Pavlik said that tourney has been cancelled due to some problems with the greens on the Powell County course. Pavlik said several other options are being explored for playing somewhere else that day, mentioning Butte, Plains and Anaconda as other venues that are being explored.

    Thompson Falls will host its annual tournament at River’s Bend on April 26. The Western B divisional tourney will be played at the Canyon River Course in Missoula May 5, and the State B tourney will be at Cottonwood Hills in Bozeman May 13-14.

    Considered contenders for State B boys team metal last year, Pavlik and crew want to make the next logical step up this spring. With everyone back except Banker, the Hawks have a right to be optimistic going into the season.

    “The kids could have done better at State last year, and doing well there this year is one of our main team goals,” Pavlik said. “We have got a lot of talent on this team, it’s just a matter of playing well when it counts.”

    Pavlik thinks the improved short game he has seen from his Hawks in practice so far could be a difference maker in the big tournaments later on.

    “Our short game should be the difference,” he said. “We will shave strokes off our team score in that department.”

    Becoming a coach for Thompson Falls represents a full-circle journey for Pavlik. An ’86 graduate of TFHS, Pavlik went on to play golf and soccer at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix before returning to Thompson Falls.

Last Modified on April 1, 2015