Moffat County High School graduate Mark Dockstader and his teammates didn’t get the dream finish they were looking for at the golf national championships, but it was an unforgettable way to finish a college career.
Dockstader was one of five members from Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Ill., to play at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Golf National Championships this week. The team played the final round at the tournament Friday, finishing 12th overall.
Dockstader was disappointed with his putting after shooting 83 in the first round at Goose Pond Colony Golf Course in Scottsboro, Ala., but that was his worst score of the four rounds. He played his best round on the final day against windy conditions, shooting 77.
The sophomore finished the round with a birdie on the 18th hole — a cool way to play the last final competitive hole of his career.
“I went out on a positive note,” Dockstader said. “I birdied 18, which was a really cool moment. I made a downhill putt with both my parents there watching. I got to go over and give them a hug afterward.”
The Chargers didn’t meet their goals of finishing in the top five of the national tournament, which was won by South Mountain Community College. But that didn’t tell the whole story for the team, which had four sophomores playing in their final tournament for Sandburg.
“It’s hard to say (how we’re feeling) because I don’t think we reached our goals, but we’re all in a good place,” Dockstader said. “It’s coming to an end and we weren’t really satisfied with the way we played, but we got to have that awesome experience.”
As a sophomore at a community college, Dockstader will be moving on from Galesburg with the conclusion of the tournament. He plans to move closer to home, deciding between continuing school at Colorado State University or Metropolitan State University of Denver.
He expressed a variety of emotions about the end of another step in life.
“Being that I went so far from home, I kind of built a new life over here,” he said. “My teammates here are my best friends, and they’ve gotten me through the fact that I’m a thousand miles from home. It’s all come to an end so fast. They’re happy emotions, but it’s definitely bittersweet.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com