Arik Roberts could have spent Monday at freshman orientation at Palmer, a chance to tour and get used to his new surroundings at a school much larger and imposing than his previous home at North Middle School.
Instead, he chose to further orient himself with his new golf team and improve his game at the Spartan Invitational at the Colorado Springs Country Club.
The native Minnesotan, proudly wearing a University of Minnesota cap autographed by former Timberwolves general manager and head coach Kevin McHale, shot a team-best 76, leading the Terrors to their second consecutive 5A Colorado Springs Metro League team victory. Palmer shot a team total of 240, six shots better than Rampart.
"That was a good round," Roberts said. "I was a little nervous for my first tournament last week, so I knew I could improve. I can get a tour of my school later."
Monday's tournament served as the second 5A CSML event and but was only a tuneup for 4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference teams that begin league play Tuesday at Kings Deer Golf Club. 4A Metro League teams don't begin play that will count scores toward regional seeding until Aug. 29 at the Marauder Invitational at Cherokee Ridge Golf Course.
The overall team title was battled out by arguably two of the best teams in 4A, with Valor Christian (210) edging Cheyenne Mountain (215). Valor's Ross MacDonald won overall medalist honors after shooting a 4-under-par 67, while teammate Jake Staiano carded a 68.
Meanwhile, the Indians got an even-par 71 from junior Wilson Belk, along with 72s from seniors Turner Estes and Cole Anderson. Pat Shin's 73 was good for seventh but didn't count as it was the team's highest score.
Coronado, which finished third, 15 shots behind Cheyenne Mountain, was paced by sophomore Isaac Petersilie, who finished at 1-under 70 to lead Pikes Peak region golfers.
Petersilie, who did not play at the season opener at Patty Jewett in order for coach Blake Miller to give more players experience, picked up where he left off last year, when he qualified for the 4A state tournament.
"It's encouraging to shoot this score, even if it doesn't count," Petersilie said. "We can build off of that. Since I didn't play last week, maybe I was a little more motivated and excited to get out there."
At 77, Roberts shaved seven shots off his debut at last week's Terror Invitational. Now that his nerves have settled, he'll need more rounds like that to catch Fountain-Fort Carson senior Steven Pattee.
The weekend caddy at The Broadmoor Golf Club followed his 75 at Patty Jewett with a 76 on Monday and already has opened up a sizable gap in the race for top 5A CSML honors.
"This is a lot better than previous years," Pattee said. "Working my butt off during summers is really the key. Being a caddy helps. You can read the greens better and work on adjusting with the wind, stuff like that."
Rampart senior Ben Tarasiewicz and Widefield junior Nathan Starke also carded rounds of 76, tied for 10th overall among a field of 86 golfers representing 22 teams.