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Seniors lead Springfield boys golf team to comeback season

9/27/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

SPRINGFIELD — Jack Morgan, who just completed his fourth season as the Springfield High School boys golf coach, said this year’s senior class will always hold a special spot for him.

“This group is special to me because they came in as freshmen, and I kind of mentored them all the way through,” he said. “I’m happy to see their improvement.”

Those seniors, with Morgan’s thoughts on each, are:

• Drew Scheck: “He was kind of the team leader and he was our most consistent player. He was always in the lower 40s, and he always kind of got us started.”

• Chris Shanaberger: “He started slowly, but by the end of the year he was one of our better players. He came on strong by the end of the season.”

• Brett Slater: “Brett is a very consistent player. We always knew what to expect from him, and he was always there to help us out.”

• Matt Ford: “Matt also struggled early, but he helped us out with a really good score in our match vs. Streetsboro and Norton. He did a great job as far as contributing to the team.”

According to Morgan, each of the four seniors “made immense improvement from one year to the next.” The coach said the biggest improvement came between 2011 and 2012.

“We finished eighth in the [Portage Trail Conference Metro Division] last year, so we were not very good,” he said. “One of the good things, though, is I only lost one senior from last year’s team. We got almost everybody back.”

The coach said the 2012 season was much better.

“We had an outstanding year. We finished in fourth place this year, and we were actually one point away from finishing in third,” he said. “We still haven’t quite been able to crack the .500 barrier. We were 9-12 to finish out the year, which is actually outstanding, considering where we were at before. We only had three league wins last year, so we’re a lot more competitive now.”

Springfield’s season ended Sept. 19 with the Portage Trail Conference tournament.

“We actually finished second in the tournament behind Kent-Roosevelt,” Morgan said. “We struggled at times during the regular season because we had a couple of injuries and vacations, so we were always missing a main piece or two. But we were finally able to put it all together at the end of the year, and we played well in the tournament.”

Leading the nonseniors for Springfield this season was sophomore Nick Hurd.

“He was actually playing in our No. 1 spot, so he did an outstanding job,” Morgan said. “Nick has a ton of potential. He can hit the ball a long ways, and when he putts well, he can play with anyone in our conference.”

The final member of the team’s top six players was junior Tyler Ross.

“Tyler has potential,” the coach said. “When he becomes more consistent, he can be a very good player.”

Morgan said he will be looking to Hurd and Ross to lead the team next year.

“They are always working hard,” he said. “They’ve done an outstanding job this year, and I really look forward to seeing them continue to develop.”

Morgan said his goal is to continue to grow the Springfield boys golf program.

“We have a couple of eighth-graders that are interested in playing golf next year,” he said. “Eventually, I’d like to have a junior varsity team and get as many kids out as possible. With golf, the earlier you start, the better you’ll be. If we can get it to that point, it will be awesome.”

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