A first glance at the golfers of Camdenton, Osage, Eldon and Versailles

CAMDENTON LAKERS

From Head Coach Shawn Maschino:

Class/District: Class 4, District 5

2018 Record or Finish: First place at the Crocker Invitational, two sectional qualifiers and one state qualifier

Moved or Graduated Athletes: None

Top Returners and any Accolades: Junior Spencer Melville (state qualifier, low round at Crocker Invitational and a 2-year starter); senior C.J. Rogers (sectional qualifier and 2-year starter); junior Treyvor Watson (2-year starter) and junior Preston Kelling (returning starter)

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2019 season?

A: We have quite a bit of experience coming back. We are looking to improve on our finishes as a team in each tournament this year.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: Our main strength is experience. Two years ago, our team was freshmen and sophomores. This year, our team will be juniors and seniors. Our expectations are higher. We had one state qualifier last year. I can see three or four of our players making the state tournament this year.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: The USGA changed a number of rules this year. Our challenge is to learn the new rules and then successfully use them during a match or a tournament. The new rules are less restrictive but you have to know them in order to take advantage. Our hope is that we can improve throughout the season in the understanding of the new rules of golf.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: I would say our main goal is to keep our eyes/vision forward at all times. It is too easy to dwell on a previous shot. That mindset leads to further mistakes. I would like to see this team remain positive in any situation. Golf can be humbling at times. Make a each situation a learning moment and then move on.

OSAGE INDIANS

From Head Coach L.J. Weeks:

Class/District: Class 3, District 5

2018 Record or Finish: Tri-County Conference Champions and District Runner-Up

Moved or Graduated Athletes: Jakob Krantz, Nick Riley and Chance Foster

Top Returners and any Accolades: Ethan Kline (state qualifier) and Zach Krantz (sectional qualifier)

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2019 season?

A: Osage graduated three of the top five players last spring so that will definitely have an impact. However, I have three or four players who are ready and excited to step up into those varsity roles. I also have several new players on the team. Due to the weather recently, we haven’t been able to get outside and play a whole lot, so I’m unsure yet of their exact ability levels. The new guys are ready to be a part of the team and contribute to the best of their abilities.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: Having Ethan Kline and Zach Krantz back really helps us. Those two are very experienced players and can help lead some of the other players. Those two have a depth of knowledge about the game that is impressive.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: At this point, we just need to get out and play. The weather plays such a huge role in golf. Even if you are outside playing when it’s 40 degrees, you really can’t get a feel of where your game is. When it’s cold, your muscles and joints don't turn like they normally do. The ball doesn’t go as far. Layers of extra clothes tend to hamper the swing. So getting some warmer weather out and then getting reps in out on the course will help tremendously.

Having some new players stepping up to the varsity level is always an early challenge. The pace of play is different. The expectations players put on themselves is different. The thought process of how to score can be different. So it’s a learning curve for a while. I’m confident these gentlemen will doing a fantastic job for us.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: One goal is to repeat as conference champions this year. We also want to get multiple players to the sectional and state tournaments this year. Our junior varsity has been undefeated the last two seasons. Going three seasons in a row would be a great accomplishment!

ELDON MUSTANGS

From Head Coach Matt Frey:

Class/District: Class 2, District 4

2018 Record or Finish: Sectionals

Moved or Graduated Athletes: Breckin Blankenship and Cole Kliethermes

Top Returners and any Accolades: Aiden Wells (sectional qualifier), Austin Kostelnik (sectional qualifier), Parker Dunham and Nick Willingham

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2019 season?

A: I am looking forward to some new faces coming to the team this year. I am also looking forward to the returning players grinding to improve on last year.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: The team has three returning varsity players this year. They are looking to move further into the postseason than last year. They say strength comes in numbers and the Eldon' boys’ golf program has 18 members this year. I am so pleased with the growth of the sport in the past few years.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: Last year we had one of the lowest cuts at the sectional tournament ever. A few of the guys fell shorts by two or four shots. This year I am looking for the boys to use that as fuel to keep working hard. With such great numbers the boys are able push each other to make the top 10 to compete for the team.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: Our goal as a program is to always get better whether that is winning more matches, making it further into the postseason than the year before or just getting better as a team with lower scores. They key to that is the amount of time and devotion the boys put into golf, not only during practice times but also on their own time.

VERSAILLES TIGERS

From Head Coach Kyle Nolawski:

Class/District: Class 2, District 4

2018 Record or Finish: Fifth place in the Tri-County Conference and districts

Moved or Graduated Athletes: None

Top Returners and any Accolades: Senior Ori Bartlett (All-State honors with 12th place finish at state) and senior Garrett Boatright (state qualifier)

Q: What are you looking forward to as your team returns for the 2019 season?

A: I look forward to seeing the young men and women on this team progress both on and off the course. They have already set clear goals for themselves and have been working diligently to improve themselves in all areas.

Q: Are there any definite strengths with this team at this point in time?

A: I believe one of our biggest strengths is the leadership we have from our upperclassmen. They do a great job setting an example and leading the charge both in the classroom and on the course for their younger teammates, and that’s extremely important for us.

Q: As the season goes along, what are you hoping the team can improve upon?

A: We have a lot of youth and with that comes some inexperience. I think we will see those younger players start to find their own swings and styles of play as the season goes on.

Q: Are there any specific goals and what would you say the keys to success are for this year?

A: We are a team that defines success both on and off of the course. We want to improve ourselves first as individuals and people and then as golfers. However, I think it is fair to say that this group of kids are hungry. They are looking to compete and a lot of them cited a district championship as one of their main goals. I don’t see that as something that is out of the realm of possibility. It will, as with anything worth achieving, take dedication, hard work and the right attitude each and every day to get it done. If we can make that happen, the sky is the limit.