GREAT FALLS — Golf and kicking field goals on the football field are arguably the two highest pressure positions a person can be in sports, but for Great Falls CMR senior, Eli Groshelle, he handles it beautifully.
“It's easy to get caught up in the moment with golf,” Groshelle explained. “[But with] kicking it, it's not that, it's just going out there trying to help the team have fun.”
CMR golf coach Brian Halverson seems to think that there could be a positive correlation to kicking and his golf game improving. With a second place finish in Billings in the second week of the season, his mental game is growing.
“I don't know where the synergy is with football, [but] he's making more clutch shots I think,” Halverson said.
Groshelle picked up football later in life as a junior in high school, but it’s something he’s always loved, and for his dad Geoff Groshelle, it’s something he’s always been good at, kicking for Montana State in the mid-90s. Suffering a minor injury last season, Groshelle watched teammate Trey Mans become one of the best kickers in Class AA but now, Groshelle gets his chance under the lights to perform like his father did.
“Even with his background, [my dad] thought I should with golf,” Groshelle laughed. “I just love football and I love golf too so when I got to about my junior year. I was like, ‘Man, I kind of want to come and play football again.’”
With his new passion and skillset on the gridiron, the balancing act between school, football and golf requires intense commitment, but through Groshelle’s support system with his coaches and his family, he finds a way to make it to tournaments, part of football practice, get in his swings at the golf course after school and still make it for game days on Friday night.
“He's got a lot of balance to him,” Halverson said. “He’s as good a human being, I think as he is a golfer. So it's been nice working with him.”
Further supported by the three eagles Groshelle had in a 9-hole stretch at Meadow Lark Country Club last season, the 17-year-old is known for his long drives averaging around 320 yards off the tee, but it’s the little things like the short game that Groshelle continues to work on so that his score can improve.
“It’s really annoying when you're getting beat by someone they're like, ‘Oh, you hit the ball so far’ like I just want to play good,” Groshelle admitted.
“I just want to see him kind of finally getting those those red numbers that I think his game sort of suggests and hopefully he has a strong season,” Halverson added. “I think Billings was that was a good tournament for him.”
With a full plate of golf through September and Friday night football through the fall, Groshelle has no time to think which in his line of work, can be a good thing. Groshelle’s next tournament is August 29-30 in Belgrade and then Sept. 2 he heads with the team to play Kalispell Glacier on the football field.