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Thunderbird Golf Season
by Hunter Berg, UTTC Athletic Director
7 October 2013

      The Thunderbird Golf Team opened the season August 28 at the Jimmie Open in Jamestown, finishing 8th with a score of 342.

      Freshman Starling Bolkan led the 'Birds' with a 77, followed by fellow freshman Julius Baker 84, sophomore Clarence Davis 87, and freshman Charles Badmilk 94.

      The team has good potential and will improve under new coach Ray Helphrey. Ray is a former teaching professional at Riverwood Golf Course, Bismarck, with extensive experience at Palm Springs, CA area courses. Ray is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes.

      It's great to have a full roster on the men's side. We expect to be competitive down the stretch. Participating are: Clarence Davis, Belcourt; Starling Bolkan, Parshall; Julius Baker, Dunseith; Charles Badmilk; Dominic Hamel; and Laramie Keplin, Bismarck. On the women's roster is Regina Poitra.


      The Thunderbird Men posted a 328 team score to finish third out of seven teams at the BSC Open September 3 at Prairie West Golf Course, Mandan. Valley City State (307) and Bismarck State (313) finished first and second.

      Individually, Laramie Keplin scorched the front nine with a 34 and finished at 76, good for fourth overall in the men's individual scoring. Clarence Davis had a nice showing 79, while Starling Bolkan 86, and Julius Baker 87, rounded out the scoring for the T-birds.


      Thunderbird golfers finished the Lake Region State Invitational September 8-9 in 3rd place. The tournament was played in rainy conditions at Creel Bay Golf Course, Devils Lake, ND.

      Individually, two T-birds had outstanding performances. Laramie Keplin fired a 148 two-day total, good for 3rd overall. Clarence Davis shot 151, good for 5th.

      Julius Baker had a solid total as well, shooting 80 and 82, and Starling Bolkan rounded out the scoring with a 185.


      The Thunderbird Golf Team had its best team performance of the year September 18 hosting its own United Tribes Open at Apple Creek Country Club. The T-birds posted four scores in the 70s, shooting a team total of 312.

      Individual scoring: Laramie Keplin 77, Clarence Davis 78, Starling Bolkan 78, and Julius Baker 79.


Laramie Keplin

      Freshman Laramie Keplin won his first tournament of the year at the Valley City Invitational played September 22-23. Keplin was tied for the lead after day one, posting a one under par 71. Keplin carded a solid second day score of 74, beating two Jamestown College golfers by one stroke to claim the Medalist honors.

      Congratulations to Laramie! This is the first time a T-bird golfer has ever won medalist honors at any tournament in the history of UTTC golf.

      The team had another tremendous showing as well. Freshman Julius Baker tied for 14th overall, carding a 14-over 158, sophomore Clarence Davis shot 161, and freshman Starling Bolkan shot 164.

      The team took 4th overall, beating rival Bismarck State by 12 strokes, setting up an exciting Region XIII Championship between the two schools scheduled for October 2-3 in Mandan at Prairie West Golf Course.

      Congratulations to the team and Coach Ray Helphrey. They’ve done outstanding work on the golf course. We’re proud of what this group has accomplished.

      The team is hoping to qualify for the National Junior College Division II Golf Championships in the spring of 2014 in Illinois.

      Good luck T-birds!

      And, as always, thank you for supporting THUNDERBIRD Athletics!


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