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Springfield boys golf team looking for young golfers to step up this season

8/15/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

SPRINGFIELD — Last year’s Springfield High School boys golf team finished second in the Portage Trail Conference tournament, but head coach Jack Morgan said a number of key players graduated following the season.

“We only have two returning letter-winners,” he said. “It’s going to be a major rebuilding year. We’ve got four new faces, and our expectation is to just try to win as many matches as we can with the youth we have on our team.”

The lone returning senior letter-winner this season is Tyler Ross.

“Tyler is already much improved from last year,” Morgan said. “He was one who couldn’t break 50 last year, but he put a lot of work into this year, and he’s now a mid-40s golfer. He did a great job in the offseason of getting ready for his senior year.”

The other returning letter-winner is junior Nick Hurd.

“Nick has the potential to be first-team all league,” the coach said. “Last year, when we looked at all of our averages, we had three players tied with a 44 average, including Nick. He’s actually had a heck of a year already. He’s played in some of the tournaments, and he’s finished well. Nick is averaging around 39 or 41 for nine holes.”

According to Morgan, Hurd is “taking on a leadership role” for the team this season.

“Nick is doing a great job as a leader. He is trying to let the new guys know that it’s not only an individual sport, but it’s also a team sport,” he said. “During the offseason, Nick was calling up the players and getting them to go to the range and to the different courses where we play, so the younger guys could get experience at those courses.”

Morgan said a second senior, Zac Fox, came out for the team this year after taking a year off from the team.

“Zac did not play his junior year, but he did play his sophomore year,” the coach said. “You know, the sky is the limit for him because he’s actually a very decent golfer, but he just has to get used to playing tournament golf. He can shoot a round in the 40s, which is good. I suspect that once he gets used to performing in matches, he’ll do well.”

Two freshmen who will look to make an impact for this year’s team, Morgan said, are Jacob Williams and Matt Jordan.

“Potential is the main word for both of those two. They’re just learning how to play,” he stated. “Both of them actually have two good natural swings, but it’s just a matter of becoming accustomed to playing in matches and things like that. They really haven’t played a lot of tournament golf, so they’re not prepared for the different pressure that comes into play. But both of them do have a lot of potential.”

The final member of the team’s top six is junior Trenton Chaplin.

“Trenton is one of the nicest boys you’d ever meet, and this is actually the first time he’s participated in golf, so he’s learning,” the coach said. “But once he starts to have some dedication to the game, his scores will improve immensely. He’s shooting around 55 right now, but he seems very motivated, and he is always at the range hitting balls. I have a feeling he’s going to progress very nicely.”

Morgan said the team’s new players are “already learning to play,” and his goal is to see continued improvement throughout the season.

“At different points, I want to see progression as far as learning the game and learning how to maneuver the golf ball the right way and save strokes with course management,” he said. “Those are some of the issues we have with youth. You know, we can hit the golf ball, but it’s just a matter of not making bad decisions. I want to make sure that we start to correct those things, because when it happens, our scores will start to lower, and then we’ll be a lot more competitive.”

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