photos by Megan Nolley
The drought has been 30 years – a pressure that only sits on the passing breeze as the varsity boys golf team ignores everything outside of their mission – a trip to the state tournament.
Head Coach Jason Wahlers said the team is ready at this point in the season. They focus more on course-specific adjustments and “staying patient” he said. They’ll travel to Georgetown and compete May 14-15 at the White Wing Golf Club.
“We just need to adjust to the conditions of the state environment,” Wahlers said. “All of our players have shown they can shoot low scores so it’s a matter of fitting their individual games to the course.”
The team, which includes seniors Sam Nolley, Rob Thomas, Chris Cameron, and juniors Jacob Sitterle and Case Reeves, came in second both in district and at regionals after a steadily successful regular season both in the fall and spring.
“Our teams never gives up and the regional tournament was no exception,” Wahlers said. “There were a few occasions where players had rough holes but came back and birdied or parred the very next hole. That’s a sign of maturity and confidence.”
“You have to relax and focus on your game and no one else’s,” Nolley, who led the team at regionals with a top 5 finish on two rounds of 75, said.
Additionally, Coach Wahlers attributes the group’s success to mental toughness. While a game that emphasizes skill and physical ability, golf’s unique environment of competing for 6-7 hours over multiple days means players have to maintain a high level of focus as well.
“That’s a lot of time for your mind to stray. We have players that can rebound from those times,” Wahlers said. “This is a big reason they have set every school record we keep, won multiple times, and are headed to the state tournament. These characteristics are also going to serve them well as individuals, citizens, brothers, fathers, etc.”
“These guys are awesome,” Nolley, who will play collegiate golf in Colorado, said. “[I’m proud of] their determination and knowledge of the course.”
“This group is special for many reasons but their work ethic stands out to me,” Wahlers said. “I can’t remember a team putting in more hours of practice than these guys. It’s fun to be around people that are committed to a common goal and are willing to do what it takes to get there.”