Aug. 11 – CHEYENNE – Nash Coleman entered the spring portion of the high school golf schedule looking to make up for what he thought was a lackluster fall season.
Cheyenne East’s sophomore did that and more.
He capped off his first prep golf season as the Class 4A Eastern Conference champion by shooting a total of 148 over two days at Kendrick Golf Course in Sheridan.
“He’s been inconsistent in the fall,” Thunderbirds coach Todd Oswald said. “He would throw a really good lap and then his other lap would be just ok and nothing really special. It all started to click for him in the spring.
“Once he tasted victory, it pushed him even harder and propelled him to that conference championship. Shooting 73.75 at Sheridan was just phenomenal.”
The conference title was Coleman’s second win of the spring; the first came at a one-round tournament in Torrington. He placed no worse than sixth in any of East’s spring events.
“I did a lot better to stay in the moment and got a few wins,” Coleman said of his spring campaign. “Staying in the moment is something I’m still working on because it kind of held me back.”
Coleman sets ambitious goals. He sees no point in setting easily achievable goals. That’s why he wanted to earn full state honors last fall. He missed two shots to place in the top 10 at the Class 4A state tournament, which would have earned him that all-state nod.
Instead, Coleman carded rounds of 83 and 86 and finished in a four-way tie for 14th.
“I didn’t live up to my own expectations, but I learned a lot last year,” he said. “I always learn something from every tournament I take part in. Whether you win or lose, you always learn.
“I learned mentally to play a game of golf. It’s always a constant mental and physical battle, even on good days. You have to find things that you can learn from.”
While improving his mental approach certainly helped Coleman become one of the best high school golfers in the state, improving accuracy off the tee was just as important. Distance has never been a problem for Coleman. Keeping the ball in the fairway was another matter.
“His short game has always been really good and he’s able to hold his own from just about anywhere,” Oswald said. “(Assistant Coach Paul) Hartigan and I followed him through the conference tournament, and when he hit an errant tee shot, he was able to go up and down with his short game.
“He didn’t need that as many times as he had in the past because he had become so consistent with his driver. He was doing a really good job of keeping the ball in the fairway.”
Oswald said he could tell Coleman was more motivated when the spring season started. He also sees a golfer who is unhappy with what he has accomplished this season.
Coleman was a fixture at Cheyenne golf courses, often doing some sort of coaching up to six days a week. He spent countless hours working on his game or playing games. Coleman continued this volume of practice when he went to spend time with his maternal grandparents in Spokane, Washington.
“I played golf as much as I could wherever I could,” Coleman said. “The short game area is the most important area of the course for me because you can mimic pretty much anything you would see playing there.
“I prefer to play rounds rather than go to the driving range, though. During a round, I can choose a flagstick or a target to hit and it narrows my target differently than hitting balls on the range. I find that more useful.”
Coleman’s ability and work ethic have become a rising tide for the East, Oswald said.
“When you have a kid like Nash on your team, he takes everyone with him,” the coach said.
Jeremiah Johnke is the editor of WyoSports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-633-3137. Follow him on Twitter at @jjohnke.