A White Salmon boy was recently named champion of the 6-and-under division at the U.S. Junior Disc Golf Championship at Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont.
Along with the national title, he earned first place for both the longest drive and putting.
At the tournament, Rivers Reese, 6, was able to stay on par over three rounds of disc golf, beating the competition by 21 strokes.
The 2019 USJDGC, run by Kids Disc Golf, was met with sunny weather throughout the tournament, which ran Aug. 2-4.
The course at Smuggler’s Notch was also the setting for the 2018 U.S. Disc Golf Championships and was scaled down for juniors, 17-years-old or younger, to play.
Cory Reese, a senior pricing analyst at Insitu and Rivers’ father, said he was involved in his son’s gameplay, acting as a caddy for the young disc golfer over the three-day tournament.
“I was impressed with Rivers’ composure over [his] competitors,” Cory Reese said.
Cory Reese said they kept a “tabulated schedule of shots,” practicing on the course and adjusting their method of throwing discs.
Rivers Reese said the toughest part was throwing uphill to the baskets that were escalated.
Cory Reese, an avid yet casual fan of the sport, said Rivers grew up playing with his family. He said the family has made it a weekly event, touring around the Gorge area to play at different courses. He said the White Salmon area has no disc golf course so the Reeses often find themselves playing at courses in Hood River and Cascade Locks.
Rivers’ mother, Alicia Reese, said the most surprising part of the tournament was how well the kids interacted with each other throughout the tournament. They even had a group hug at the end of the tournament.
“They were like a team,” Alicia Reese said.
Rivers will compete at the Kid Flick III on Aug. 24 in Estacada, Ore., and will later attempt to defend his title as state champion at the Oregon Junior Disc Golf Championship in September.