With Perry watching, Lions clutch fourth straight team title

WEBSTER CITY – Death, taxes and the Clear Lake boys’ golf team winning the North Central Conference title – you can pretty much guarantee those occurrences.

The Lions had plenty of extra motivation to succeed, too.

Welcome back, Eric Perry.

Not considered one of the front runners when the day began, Clear Lake stayed poised and used consistent scoring to win its fourth consecutive NCC crown yesterday at Briggs Woods Golf Course.

The Lions’ 318 was three strokes clear of runner-up Webster City (321). Dane Waldron (77) and Austin Rurup (79) were two of the five players to break 80 and Clear Lake put all four scorers in the top 10.

Perry – the coach of Class 3A state championship teams in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2011 – just recently returned to Clear Lake after being hospitalized in Texas since March 10. To be present for his program’s crowning afternoon was quite special.

“I’m so proud of these guys,” an emotional Perry said. “Hanging around with these guys has really helped.”

Perry suffered a fractured skull while on vacation in Cozumel, Mexico in early March; he was immediately transported to San Antonio for emergency surgery, and then spent 10 days in a medically-indued coma.

Perry called a hospital room in Houston home for weeks. He was finally given the go ahead to return home two weeks ago.

“I feel great and I was very fortunate,” Perry said. “I’m going to make a full recovery, I’m pretty sure of it, and I feel like I can do all of the things I did before.”

Clear Lake finished behind Humboldt and Webster City at the Spencer Invite earlier this spring, and just a few days later dropped a dual to the Lynx on its home course.

“We have a pretty young team and it’s a building process,” Perry said. “We’ve struggled throughout the year, but with the conditions (yesterday) I think they battled through adversity pretty well.”