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Here are some New Mexico boys golfers to watch during the 2020-2021 campaign

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com

Piedra Vista’s Quinn Yost

It’s now Quinn Yost’s turn to lead the charge in securing the Panthers their third blue trophy since 2018.

The COVID-19 pandemic canceled the spring 2020 campaign, but Yost already experienced playing alongside a battle-tested group in Trey Diehl, Tyler Diehl, River Smalley and Justin Harris during PV’s consecutive titles in 2018 and 2019.

Yost held his own during the previous two state tournaments.

He placed 10th overall in 2018 at the now-defunct Class 6A state championships. And despite missing most of 2019 with a broken right shin, Yost healed up in time for state. He finished tied for 17th overall (with Harris) in the 2019 5A state championships.

Yost knows how to handle the stresses of the big show. Like his predecessors, he learned how to respond to the rough stretches of play.

Quinn Yost of Piedra Vista High School hits down the fairway on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, during the Durango High School golf tournament at Dalton Ranch Golf Club.

Ruidoso’s Jake Butkiewicz

Now that his tenure with the Warriors is nearing its end, can Jake Butkiewicz finally bring home a state title this season?

He was within a few strokes of the top spot after round one of the 2018 4A state championships, but couldn’t quite pull it out and settled for third place — shooting 15-over-par.

Butkiewicz again found himself fairly close to the top at the 2019 4A state championships, but wasn’t able to get over the hump. He placed eighth overall, shooting 14-over-par.

Butkiewicz proved he can go the distance and produce on the big stage, and he looks to make that final big push for a championship.

Cibola’s Aiden Kraft and Cottonwood Classical Prep’s Alex Moores

Aiden Kraft won the 2019 5A state individual title after cruising through the two rounds of play, shooting 4-under-par overall. 

Alex Moores won the 2019 1A-4A state individual title, propelled by a strong second round. He shot 11 shots over par altogether, but was just 1 over par on the second and final day.

Although their respective tournaments were in different locations, Kraft and Moores both hail from Albuquerque and brought individual titles back home to the Duke City. Now both look to repeat as state champions.

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

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