MARBLE FALLS — The stage did not change, but Jett Truss did.
Four years ago, the Gatesville golfer made his debut at the state tournament after the then-freshman helped the Hornets deliver a dominant season highlighted by wins in every competition it played, including district and regional championships.
Tuesday afternoon, Truss’ career completed a full circle as he concluded his four years with the program at Apple Rock Golf Course, participating in the Class 4A University Interscholastic League State Championship.
This trip, however, was different.
“As a freshman,” Truss said, “I was just like, ‘Wow, I’m at the state championship,’ and I was just in a daze. I was in awe of where I was, because it was bigger than I was.
“But as a senior, who had been there before, I didn’t really feel that way about it. I went in knowing that we’re here because this is the tournament we’ve been working so hard to get to ... and it’s not bigger than anybody’s golf game.”
With Truss’ two-day total of 168 guiding Gatesville, the Hornets placed 10th overall after shaving 20 strokes off Monday’s opening round to shoot a 361-341—702.
Although admittedly hoping for a better overall outcome, Gatesville head coach Guy Dean found joy in witnessing the completion of Truss’ evolution on the course.
“I was really happy,” Dean said. “He was the last one coming down, and I waited for him and walked down part of the final fairway with him and said, ‘You know, that’s a pretty good high school career.’
“As a freshman, he went to state, and his last athletic event is at the state golf tournament. That’s pretty impressive.”
Truss finished in a three-way tie for 35th individually, posting a second-round score of 81 to beat teammate Evan Washburn (88-86–174) by six strokes.
Braden Luensmann, a junior, followed with a 95-86–101 to narrowly edge out senior teammate Jed Smith, who recorded identical rounds of 91 en route to a 182. Cameron Hudson, a freshman, rounded out the Hornets’ scoring, shooting a 98-88—186.
“Obviously,” Dean said, “we wanted to do better, but after they way they played Monday, I was really proud of the way they stepped up.”
Monahans won the team title by 11 strokes with a score of 306-309–615, beating out 2017 champion Argyle (317-309–626) and third-place Bullard (323-316—639).
Madisonville senior Sam Bennett earned the individual championship with a two-day total of 142 (70-72).
Now, the Hornets turn their attention toward the future after completing their eighth appearance at state since 2007, but they will be doing so without Truss and Smith, who were instrumental in the team’s success this season.
But Truss is confident the program is poised for greatness.
“Gatesville is known for its golfers,” he said. “For some reason, we are just bred to play the game.
“I think the returning players are mentored enough and have gained enough experience to make them confident enough to know they are good enough to get back to state every year.”
CLASS 4A STATE TOURNEY
1. Monahans 615
2. Argyle 626
3. Bullard 639
4. Pleasant Grove 652
5. Andrews 672
10. Gatesville 702
1. Bennett, Madisonville 142
2. Kirk, Monahans 146
3. Pruitt, Brownwood 147
4. Diomede, Argyle 149
5. Pittman, Monahans 152
35T. Truss, Gatesville 168
42. Washburn, Gatesville 174
53T. Luensmann, Gatesville 181
55. Smith, Gatesville 182
59. Hudson, Gatesville 186