No. 9 story of the 2010s: Piedra Vista boys golf team quickly becomes a state golf power

Matt Hollinshead,

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista boys frequently appeared in the state golf championships during the first half of the 2010s, but couldn't quite ascend to the top.

Enter coach Tom Yost in 2016, and the Panthers quickly transformed into a state golf power by the end of the decade.

PV settled for second place in 2017 following a scorecard error, but responded with back-to-back state titles in 2018 and 2019.

PV’s 2018 blue trophy was its first one ever in program history, and the Panthers hoisted it in the friendly confines of Piñon Hills Golf Course in Farmington.

It was also the school’s first and only state title for any sport in the now-defunct Class 6A.

With their core group, including Trey Diehl, Tyler Diehl and River Smalley from their 2018 state championship squad intact, the Panthers won it all again in 2019.

PV kept tallying key putts on the greens in both championship years. And whenever one had an ill-timed bogey, they’d immediately respond by sinking a critical birdie.

PV’s back-to-back championships also occurred in dominating fashion.

The Panthers beat second-place Clovis by 28 strokes in 2018, and PV also beat third-place Cleveland by 45 strokes. PV then beat second-place La Cueva by 37 strokes in 2019.

PV took sixth place in 2012, followed three straight fourth-place finishes in 2013-2015 behind foes like St. Pius and Artesia.

The significant part of the Panthers’ title runs in 2018 and 2019 was that they ascended past state boys golf contenders Cleveland and La Cueva.

Cleveland and La Cueva won a combined five blue trophies during the 2010s.

For that time period, PV went from being consistently good to becoming a state golf power.

The Piedra Vista boys golf team takes a selfie of its second-straight blue trophy after winning the 5A boys golf state championship on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at the Canyon Club in Albuquerque.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.