Discovery Canyon's Luke Trujillo returns for his senior season after winning the Class 4A individual and team boys' golf titles.
Bringing back a matured mentality on the course, though, may be most impressive of all.
After giving up a three-stroke lead with four holes to play at last year's state tournament, the Thunder's breakout star regrouped in a playoff with then-defending champion Jackson Solem of Silver Creek. He redeemed his late-round misses with consecutive par putts as he emerged victorious in a playoff.
The trial by fire has stoked a new confidence.
"Just going from the lows of lows and then being able to bring myself back up has helped a ton," Trujillo said. "I have a stamina mentally and physically that I can kick into gear. And knowing that I have that now, I got it from state."
Stamina. It's come in handy of late.
Lately, Trujillo said his game has taken a step in the wrong direction as he has been working his way back from a hole in his swing. His summer months have been filled with grueling repetition on the range with his swing coach, Trent Wearner.
"My game from May to the beginning of July, let's just say left a lot to be desired," Trujillo said. "It's been the same swing though for the last month, just keep hitting balls and go out and play." Only recently returning to form, Trujillo won two matches at the Colorado Junior Match Play Championship last week in Parker before bowing out in the quarterfinals. Then over the weekend, he took fourth at Western Junior Championship in Grand Junction.
To get back to contending for a state title, Trujillo knows things will have to progress.
"It's about taking small steps forward to reach that final goal of peaking at the right time again," he said.
Discovery Canyon, as a team, hopes for similar results. After winning the school's first team title a year ago, the Thunder return Trujillo and another potential state contender, Caleb Blackburn, who finished tied for 10th at last year's championship.
In front of the team's first practice, Thunder coach Mark Liggett marveled over Blackburn's power. The coach said he's seen the senior drive the ball 400 yards.
"He's come into another era I would say," Liggett said. "He'll be interesting to watch this year."
The looming question for the championship-hungry Thunder is who will take over the other two spots on varsity.
Whoever it may be, a strong mental game would be a good start.
"We'll see what happens here in the next couple weeks as we get together as a team and go forward," Liggett said. "I have high expectations for them. It's going to be fun."