2021 JGAC Honors

Hunter Swanson repeats as Boys Player of the Year, while Kaylee Chen earns Girls POY honor; both are members of Hale Irwin Player Program

By Gary Baines – 10/26/2021

Talk about going right down to the wire: The Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado Tour points races for 2021 were basically a photo finish for both the top boys and the girls.

In other words, the competition for JGAC’s Players of the Year was ever so close.

Hunter Swanson of Denver (boys) and Kaylee Chen of Parker (girls) ended up earning the honors, but the final Tour points standings indicate how close things were. Swanson edged Matthew Wilkinson of Centennial in points, 1,320.8 to 1,300.64 on the boys side after also finishing 1-2 last year, while Chen topped Sofia Chen of Littleton, 1200 to 1,192.5.

The points standings aren’t the sole determinant of POY honors, but they are a major one, with a committee voting on the awards. The Alliance has named the Players of the Year since its debut in 2016; prior to that, the CGA and the CWGA honored the boys and girls, respectively.

When all was said and done, Swanson was named the JGAC Boys Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Only three other boys in the 21st century have earned the honor twice: Dillon Stewart (2018 and ’19), Tyler Parsloe (2005 and ’06) and Tom Glissmeyer (2003 and ’04). Meanwhile, Chen became the fifth different Girls POY in the last five years.

Both Swanson and Chen are part of the CGA’s Hale Irwin Player Program at CommonGround Golf Course.

Below are some of the 2021 season highlights for Swanson and Chen, both in JGAC events and elsewhere. While this story focuses on the JGAC award winners for 2021, HERE’S ANOTHER ARTICLE that notes some of the overall highlights of the junior golf season in Colorado.

— Hunter Swanson of Denver, JGAC Boys Player of the Year: 2021 has proven to be a memorable year for Swanson in several respects, including the fact that he’s won the POY honor for the second straight season. He verbally committed to play his college golf at the University of Colorado, a decision he’s expected to make official next month. He finished runner-up in a playoff at The First Tee National Championship and fifth in the pro-junior portion of the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach, a PGA Tour Champions event that features selected First Tee participants. (Swanson is a member of The First Tee of Green Valley Ranch.) In addition, Swanson posted two second-place finishes in JGAC majors and another in the AJGA tournament in Montrose. He also recorded two victories in JGAC Tour events. Out of state, Swanson placed 51st out of 207 competitors in his age/gender division of the prestigious IMG Academy Junior World Championship and competed in the U.S. Junior Amateur and the Junior America’s Cup. This fall, he was named a Future Famer by the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame.

Kaylee Chen

— Kaylee Chen of Parker, JGAC Girls Player of the Year: After placing second on the JGAC Tour girls points list each of the past two years, Chen came out on top in 2021. She posted two top-five finishes in AJGA events held in Colorado, placing fourth at the AJGA Junior Open at The Bridges in Montrose and fifth at the AJGA Hale Irwin Colorado Junior in Westminster. At the Girls Junior Americas Cup competition, Chen finished eighth individually out of a field of 62 to lead the Colorado contingent with a 3-under-par 210 total for three rounds. Chen was a quarterfinalist in the CGA Women’s Match Play and teamed with fellow junior Morgan Miller in placing second in U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Qualifying. In five JGAC events in 2021, the 2019 Colorado Junior Amateur champ finished in the top five in each start, including ending up third in the JGAC Tour Championship.

Here are some of the other 2021 JGAC honors and awards that were recently finalized:


Girls — Makaela Swanson of Denver: Swanson, sister of JGAC Boys Player of the Year Hunter Swanson, saw her JGAC scoring average improve from 93.3 in 2020 to 82.4 in 2021. She jumped from 24th in the 11-13 Series points list in 2020 to sixth in the 14-18 Series in 2021.

Boys — Keagan Bond of Commerce City: Bond’s scoring average improved from 91.1 in 2020 to 80.9 in 2021. After finishing 56th in the 14-18 Series points standings last year, Bond was 14th in 2021.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE (based on community service, character, overcoming hardship and showing spirit of the game of golf; nominations come from parents and players)

JJ Heupel of Littleton: Heupel is a very community-minded individual who started a club at his school named “Bagging for the homeless”, and there are now 50 active participants in the club. Heupel also volunteers at soup kitchens, delivers clothes on winter nights, and hands out clothes donated by TSA at DIA. 

GRACE BURKE AWARD (goes to female high school seniors who exhibit character, leadership, personal integrity, and enthusiasm for the game of golf, in addition to being an Academic All-Star) 

Timbre Shehee of Mead

Paige Carlson of Parker

Katelyn Lehigh of Loveland


10 & Under Boys — Jeffrey Chen

10 & Under Girls — Claire Atzbach 

11-13 Boys — Clint Summers III 

11-13 Girls — Addison Hines

14-18 Boys — Gavin Amella

14-18 Girls — Kyndra Johnson

JGAC Tour Boys — Hunter Swanson

JGAC Tour Girls — Kaylee Chen


Boys 10 & Under

Jeffrey Chen

Grady Ortiz

Max Music

Tyler Nikkel 

Judd Nikkel 

Girls 10 & Under

Claire Atzbach 

Chloe Johnson

Emma Nguyen 

Madelyn Dickerson

Scout Fitzgerald

Boys 11-13

Clint Summers III 

Brayden Destefano 

Andre Dumonteil

Billy Ver Straate 

Campbell McFadden 

Girls 11-13

Addison Hines

Sophia Capua

Maddie Makino

Zoe Bar-Or

Brynn Balliet

Boys 14-18

Gavin Amella

Austin Barry

Landon Houska

Garrett Exelbert

Talen Turnbaugh

Girls 14-18

Kyndra Johnson 

Hope Torres

Noelle Thompson

Sydney McCord 

Lenna Persson

Boys JGAC Tour

Hunter Swanson

Matthew Wilkinson

Luke Cushman 

Jeffrey Nelson II

Gage Messingham

Girls JGAC Tour

Kaylee Chen

Sofia Choi

Hadley Ashton

Emma Bryant

Jessica Mason


Madeline Ahlstrand, Highlands Ranch  

Gavin Amella, Castle Rock  

Giada Amundson, Montrose  

Trinity Anderson, Colorado Springs  

Nolan Andrews, Englewood  

Evan Ashbeck, Littleton  

Chloe Avant, Denver  

Jack Bakken, Lone Tree  

Will Balliet, Thornton  

Brynn Balliet, Thornton  

Bennett Bante, Cherry Hills Village  

Madeline Bante, Cherry Hills Village  

Jocelyn Barrus, Parker  

Fiona Beardsly, Denver  

Connor Beardsly, Denver  

Lukas Beisner, Aurora  

Connor Bell, Montrose  

Sarah Bentley, Colorado Springs  

Eden Biancarelli, Denver  

William Bikulcius, Lone Tree  

Colten Blake, Evergreen  

Jake Bochow, Golden  

Madeline Bond, Commerce City  

Keagan Bond, Commerce City  

Jonathan Boyer, Eagle  

Kaden Brooks, Louisville  

Jaden Brown, Castle Rock  

Kyle Bubier, Highlands Ranch  

Emery Busacker, Denver  

Joshua Busacker, Denver  

Qwenton Caldwell, Littleton  

Paige Carlson, Parker  

Carmen Carpinelli, Littleton  

Karin Cesario, Colorado Springs

Ashley Chang, Lone Tree  

Braeden Chapla, Arvada  

Jeffrey Chen, Aurora  

Anthony Chen, Aurora  

Emily Cheng, Colorado Springs  

Caitlyn Chin, Greenwood Village  

Benjamin Chin, Greenwood Village  

Alyssa Chin, Greenwood Village  

Alex Choi, Thornton  

Erin Choi, Thornton  

Sofia Choi, Littleton  

Brendan Church, Arvada  

Mason Conrad, Castle Pines  

Austin Cortez, Thornton  

Kaylee Craig, Superior  

Jake Crawford, Avon  

Graham Cummings, Denver  

Peter de Wetter, Snowmass Village  

Nicholas DeBell, Westminster  

Olivia Debney-Carr, Colorado Springs  

Kaden Devenport, Windsor  

Cole Dewey, Centennial  

Madelyn Dickerson, Aurora  

Michael Dinapoli, Steamboat Springs  

Jake Dost, Parker  

Connor Downey, Edwards  

Wyatt Dragon, Aurora  

Raven DuKan, Broomfield  

Brynn Dzengelewski, Highlands Ranch  

Julia Edone, Denver  

Adam Eicher, Arvada  

Wesley Erling, Colorado Springs  

Benjamin Estabrook, Highlands ranch  

Nolan Farrar, Larkspur  

Charlie Flaxbeard, Greenwood Village  

James Flaxbeard, Greenwood Village  

Bryant Ford, Colorado Springs  

Christian Foxworth, Loveland  

Matthew Gaffney, Morrison  

Karina Garcia, Windsor  

Jacob Gilbert, Watkins  

Devin Gilbreath, Aurora  

TJ Giordano, Denver  

Alex Good, Eagle  

Cole Good, Eagle  

Oliver Gottesfeld, Denver  

George Grady, Louisville  

Christopher Gunlikson II, Longmont  

Logan Hale, Erie  

Kalai Hamlin, Monument  

Alexandra Hanna, Steamboat Springs  

Ben Harding, Longmont  

Wyatt Harlow, Fort Collins  

Maryn Harlow, Fort Collins  

Chloe Hartojo, Broomfield  

Booth Hayes, Frederick  

Sebastian Hein, Centennial  

JJ Heupel, Littleton  

Ava Hickey, Boulder  

Aidan Highsmith, Littleton  

Mason Hill, Broomfield  

Carter Hinkle, Windsor  

Kara Holm, Missouri City, Texas

Mallory Hopper, Centennial  

Landon Houska, Fort Collins  

Connor Houtsma, Denver  

Sally Kate Houtsma, Denver  

Austin Hunt, Highlands Ranch  

Sawyer Hyten, Broomfield  

Nicholas Jacobs, Conifer  

Jack Jacobsen, Englewood  

Tucker “Tiki” Jaffe, Vail  

Lauren Jaworowski, Colorado Springs  

Sofia Johancen-Walt, Aurora  

Kyndra Johnson, Salida  

Issac Johnson, Parker  

Chloe Johnson, Parker  

Nathan Jones, Monument  

Kai Jorde, Castle Rock  

Joey Jung, Parker  

Alena Kasanicky, Longmont  

Peter Kelley, Lone Tree  

Nathan Kim, Castle Pines  

Easton Kitsmiller, Centennial  

Caden Koole, Broomfield  

Gabrielle Krebs, Windsor  

Luke Kusserow, Highlands Ranch  

Richard Lane, Pueblo  

Max Lange, Golden  

Ethan Leach, Highlands Ranch  

Jacob Legg, Montrose  

Katelyn Lehigh, Loveland  

Chandler Levy, Boulder  

Gregory Lewis, Monument  

Kaylin Leydon, Commerce City  

Kyle Leydon, Commerce City  

Zach Lipfield, Lone Tree  

Sofia Liss, Castle Rock  

Micah Livingstone, Timnath  

Tyler Long, Evergreen  

Anthony Lore, Aurora  

Alex Lund, Colorado Springs  

Josh Lurie, Longmont  

Lincoln Mackay, Littleton  

Brody Mackey, Evergreen  

Christopher Marsh II, Gypsum  

Jackson Martorello, Denver  

Sam McArthur, Timnath  

Jordan McCaslin, Arvada  

Hagen McCuistion, Fowler  

Campbell McFadden, Denver  

Duncan McIntosh, Evergreen  

Jack McLean, Aurora  

Peyton McLeese, Broomfield  

Matthew McNitt, Highlands Ranch  

Joel Melun, Greenwood Village  

Aden Mendell, Denver  

Gage Messingham, Arvada  

Grace Messner, Colorado Springs  

Katrina Messner, Colorado Springs  

Anna Mettler, Colorado Springs  

Emmarie Miles, Greeley  

Ella Miller, Centennial  

Alex Morrall, Palisade  

Carter Navulur, Frederick  

Lily Nelson, Commerce City  

Elise Nelson, Highlands Ranch  

Sydney O’Connor, Erie  

Mina O’Dell, Longmont  

Brooke O’Sullivan, Aspen  

Rhys Owens, Denver  

Brentyn Paiz, Windsor  

Nicholas Pallas, Arvada  

Kale Parthen, Colorado Springs  

Hunter Peffer, Aurora  

Tyler Plaster, Longmont  

Jackson Porter, Highlands Ranch  

Gage Poulsen, Timnath  

Coby Puzio, Brighton  

Bryce Raduziner, Colorado Springs  

Graham Riggs, Windsor  

Charlie Riggs, Windsor  

Will Rinehart, Aurora  

Kayla Robinson, Littleton  

Evie Rogers, Centennial  

Alex Rogers, Fort Collins  

Lauren Rossano, Golden  

Lawson Rumley, Eagle  

Luke Rumley, Eagle  

Cade Rummell, Littleton  

Riya Sajjan, Fort Collins  

Richa Sajjan, Fort Collins  

Hunter Salani, Edwards  

Will Sallee, Loveland  

Grant Samuelson, Fort Collins  

Benjamin Sander, Parker  

Andrew Sarkisian, Evergreen  

Spencer Schlagel, Parker  

CheyAnne Schrick, Timnath  

Jack Schubert, Highlands Ranch  

Andy Schwartz, Highlands Ranch  

Ella Scott, Castle Rock  

Travis Seitz, Steamboat Springs  

Timbre Shehee, Mead  

Emily Shin, Lone Tree  

Hunter Simmons, Grand Junction  

William Simpfendorfer, Colorado Springs  

Dalton Sisneros, Aurora  

Jackson Smith, Centennial  

George Smith, Denver  

Rupashi Sood, Parker  

Sky Sosna, Aspen  

Amber Staver, Highlands Ranch  

Ava Staver, Highlands Ranch  

Leyni Stavola, Thornton  

Mariana Stavola, Thornton  

Molly Stratton, Centennial  

Hudson Stutzman, Denver  

Blake Sullivan, Castle Rock  

Tyler Sunahara, Highlands Ranch  

Carter Surofchek,  Colorado Springs  

Makaela Swanson, Denver  

Hunter Swanson, Denver  

Aiden Sweeney, Commerce City  

Jack Tarman, Westminster  

Natalie Tatar, Denver  

Sydney Taylor, Fort Collins  

Samantha Thomas, Englewood  

Elianna Thompson, Castle Rock  

Oscar Thompson, Centennial  

Noelle Thompson, Erie  

Roland Thornton, Aurora  

Mollie Todd, Golden  

Collen Todd, Golden  

Hope Torres, Broomfield  

Aidan Tracey, Aspen  

Jonathan Trigg, Englewood  

Charlie Tucker, Castle Pines  

Bo Turnage, Denver  

Ethan Turner, Firestone  

Jordan Ulitzky, Aurora  

Nathan Valentine, Colorado Springs  

Preston Villegas, Fort Collins  

Reed Wearner, Centennial  

Cole Wearner, Centennial  

Braden Wedel, Bethune  

Asa Wentworth, Boulder  

Carson Wiesner, Highlands Ranch  

Taylor Wilson, Highlands Ranch  

Ashleigh Wilson, Highlands Ranch  

Jack Winter, Broomfield  

Jadie Wison, Parker  

William “Hayden” Woelk, Colorado Springs  

Luke Wolf, Fort Collins  

Max Zadvorny, Centennial  

Kaitlin Zingler, Lakewood  


Charlie Flaxbeard: Colorado Junior Amateur boys champion

Emma Bryant: Colorado Junior Amateur girls champion

Matthew Wilkinson: Colorado Junior PGA boys champion

Jessica Mason: Colorado Junior PGA girls champion

Ben Harding: Colorado Junior Match Play boys champion

Morgan Miller: Colorado Junior Match Play girls champion

Matthew Wilkinson: JGAC Tour Championship boys champion

Hadley Ashton: JGAC Tour Championship girls champion

Claire Atzbach: 10 & Under Series girls champion

Jeffrey Chen: 10 & Under Series boys champion

Jonathon Smith: 11-13 Series boys champion

Addison Hines: 11-13 Series girls champion

Austin Barry: 14-18 Series boys champion

Makaela Swanson: 14-18 Series girls champion

PGA Junior League

Jason Witczak: 17&U Junior League coach

Bryar Moss: Junior League member – 17&U champion

Jake Dost: Junior League member – 17&U champion

Benn Sander: Junior League member – 17&U champion

Andy Blake: Junior League member – 17&U champion

John Dailey: Junior League member – 17&U champion

Will Valkner: Junior League member – 17&U champion

Timothy Radomicki: 13&U Junior League coach

Miles Kuhl: Junior League member – 13&U champion

Ashton Edwards: Junior League member – 13&U champion

Acadia Curtis: Junior League member – 13&U champion

Pierce Johnson: Junior League member – 13&U champion

Charlie Budacz-Kauflin: Junior League member – 13&U champion

Ryder Besse: Junior League member – 13&U champion

Brynn Balliet: Junior League member – 13&U champion

Aden Mendell: Junior League member – 13&U champion

State High School Champions


Connor Downey — 3A

Brentyn Paiz — 4A

Will Kates — 5A


Aubri Braecklein — 3A

Jessica Mason — 4A

Katelyn Lehigh — 5A