BHS GOLF- Belgrade Triangular (copy)

Bozeman's Jordan Verge follows through on his swing during the Belgrade Triangular on Sept. 11, 2018, at Bridger Creek Golf Course.

Every week, Bozeman approaches practice the same way. In order to compete in tournaments, players need to compete in practice.

So the Hawks hold qualifiers to see who will represent them when they face other schools. The top three from the previous tournament earn spots in the next one. But the bottom two scorers square off with two others vying to join the varsity.

“The reason we do that is we want to keep things competitive,” Bozeman head coach Matt Clark said. “We want to make sure everybody’s hungry, and we want to present opportunities to others that are playing well in our program. If they’re playing well enough, they deserve an opportunity.”

The depth that Clark’s plan has helped develop paid off Wednesday as the Hawks’ boys and girls both lead through the first day of the Butte Invitational. Bozeman’s Cora Rosanova (81), Sami Yates (82) and Cooper Knarr (82) sit in the top three spots of the girls tournament while Justus Verge (75), Jordan Verge (75) and J.R. Small (79) are first, second and fourth among boys.

But players deeper in the lineup such as senior Daniel Loomis (83) for the boys and junior Franchi Ceartin (95) and senior Juliet Raynovich (109) for the girls each contributed in their first varsity competition, a result of Clark’s qualifier style.

Prior to Wednesday, the Hawks used the same lineup each tournament. As their top players performed up to their potential again, the varsity newcomers helped the boys to a 10-stroke lead over Kalispell Glacier, and the girls lead second-place Butte by 22.

“It’s a nice problem to have as a coach,” Clark said. “We have some good depth. ... I guarantee the people who didn’t qualify are home working their butts off trying to qualify for the next tournament we’re going to be in.”

Each tournament this season, Clark’s taught his golfers to keep the same approach. So even though they performed well Wednesday, he hopes they ignore their prior success.

“It’s a good start, but we start over tomorrow,” Clark said. “We’ll celebrate it for a little bit, but then we’ll move on. Tomorrow’s a new day. We’re going to show up tomorrow again and prove ourselves. Nothing’s given. Golf’s a crazy game. We’ll have to show up and play our best golf.”

Paul Schwedelson can be reached at or 406-582-2670. Follow him on Twitter @pschweds.

Paul Schwedelson is a sports writer for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.