Clinton High School sophomore Joe Simpson shot an 86 to share the team-lead with fellow sophomore Blake Behrens in the 2018 Muskie Boys Golf Invitational Friday at Geneva Country Club in Muscatine. The River Kings finished in fifth place. 

MUSCATINE – The Clinton boys golf team is off to a strong start in 2018, placing fifth of 13 teams in the Muskie Boys Golf Invitational Friday afternoon at a challenging Geneva Country Club course.

The River Kings were led by a pair of 15-over-par 86's by sophomores Blake Behrens and Joe Simpson to improve on a 10th place finish from at the same event last season.

Clinton coach Paul Niedermeyer said he was pleased with the team's performance in the first event of the season.

"I was really happy with how we came out of the blocks," Niedermeyer said. "They grinded and competed well on a course that is difficult for both adults and kids."

Pleasant Valley ran away with a first place finish, turning in a sparkling scorecard of 301, which was over 50 shots better than Iowa City, who finished in second with a 353.

Senior Zach Bohle was the third and final River King to break 100 strokes with a 95. Conner Hyde (102) rounded out Clinton's scoring efforts while Andrew Brisch (105) and Tanner Dickherber (114) capped the outing.

Clinton will return to action to host Davenport Central at Valley Oaks Golf Club on Wednesday.

Niedermeyer says he has a hopeful feeling about the season.

"We had some guys shoot well and they are going to shoot even better," Niedermeyer said. "I think it is going to be a positive experience this year."