Manchester boys golf team transitioning to 18-hole events
NEW FRANKLIN — Manchester High School boys golf head coach Michael Ankrom said he likes what he has seen from his golfers both on and off the course this season.
“We have been improving as golfers and as gentlemen, so that is the biggest and most important part,” he said. “Winning is great, but you want the players to see improvement so their confidence improves. It’s a life-long sport.”
Last season, Manchester finished with an 8-1 record in dual meets. The team ended the season in fourth place in the league.
“Our league does not count matches for the league standing,” Ankrom said. “The PAC-7 [Principals Athletic Conference] holds three tournaments throughout the season, and you earn points for each tournament.”
This year, the coach said, the team’s goals are to achieve a third-place finish or better in the PAC-7 and success at the state tournament.
According to Ankrom, the team has made a noticeable change this year in an effort to improve its postseason chances.
“We are moving from nine-hole events to 18-hole events because the PAC-7 tournaments and the state tournaments are 18-hole events,” he said. “The players are good at nine-hole scores, but putting 18 good holes together is tough for anyone.”
With the change, Ankrom said his team will need to work even harder to avoid making any double bogeys.
“If you make one, then put that bad hole behind you and concentrate on the next hole,” he said. “The mental game is the toughest.”
The strength of this year’s team, Ankrom said, is the overall experience of his players.
“The varsity team consists of three seniors, one junior, one sophomore and one freshman,” he said.
The seniors on this year’s squad are Josh Seidel, Zach Matheny and Caleb Goodman.
“They enjoy the game and they are very competitive,” Ankrom said.
The team’s junior is Michael Pileggi, and the coach said he expects Pileggi to have a quality season.
“He works very hard,” Ankrom said.
Also looking to play key roles for this year’s team are two underclassmen.
“Brayden Kirk is the sophomore and Danny Grizer is the freshman, and I am expecting them to learn about competition and get some experience,” the coach said. “Danny Grizer is a big surprise and a good surprise. For a freshman, he listens very well and understands the swing.”
Ankrom is in his 14th season as a golf coach.
“I would like to thank Spring Hills Golf Course for hosting a tournament at the beginning of the season for eight schools that is free to the schools,” he said, “and for allowing the Manchester golf team to practice and play at their course during the summer and during the season.”
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