Sandburg: Tonganoxie High boys golf 2020 had potential to be year of firsts for program

Tonganoxie High golf coach Doug Sandburg stands with seniors Dylan Reynolds, at left, and Jackson Vorbeck, at right, in this photo taken during the boys golf preseason in March. The THS golf team was eyeing a fourth consecutive state golf appearance this year before KSHSAA canceled spring sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Enlarge photo

May 28, 2020

Editor’s Note: The Mirror is asking spring sports coaches to pen open letters to their student-athletes, team parents and fans, or whomever they wish to address their open letters about their lost seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The letters will be published in the coming weeks.

Dear Tonganoxie golf fans and parents,

The most WONDERFUL time of the year was taken from us this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were two weeks into quarantine when KSHSAA canceled all spring sports. I remember the day because I was talking with Jackson Vorbeck and Caeden Woods in the parking lot of Falcon Lakes right before it happened. It came a bit as a shock, but I was upset for all the opportunities the kids would lose.

The first lost opportunity was for the seniors, Jackson Vorbeck and Dylan Reynolds. They lost the final season of their high school career and a big chance to make it to state again. Dylan would have gotten his first opportunity at a state tournament, but Jackson would have made his fourth straight appearance at state as part of the team.

This would have been the first time ever in Tonganoxie golf history that a person would have been part of a team that made it to state four straight years. To these seniors I say “thank you” for all the hard work and the memories you have given us. You will always be a major part of Tonganoxie golf.

The second lost opportunity is for the freshmen and first-year players. They would have gained valuable experience of playing tournament golf and possibly being a part of the state tournament. This is big for the program because they learn from the seniors work ethic and how the golf program does its work. So to the freshmen and first-year players, work hard in the summer because we have some special years ahead to do some amazing things.

Lastly, the lost opportunity for Coach (Tyler) Hall to impact our Chieftain golf family again. He had been a major part of the past by going to three state tournaments and being on two state runner-up teams. Now he was ready to guide our young players into the future and make them into great Tonganoxie golfers. But with this lost opportunity, the Tonganoxie golf family will welcome to this world Young Miss Fraley, as Coach (Sydney) Fraley had her first daughter.

As with any young child entering this world, the future of the Tonganoxie golf program is very bright and we look forward to the future challenges ahead. Both the boys and girls programs are trending in an upward trajectory and hopefully the kids will keep working hard to remain on this path. Thanks for all the support and love from the Tonganoxie community for the golf teams.


Coach Sandburg

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