Boys’ golf preview: Team gets first in ice breaker tourney
Golf is not meant to be played in the snow, but the season must go on.
With much snow still on the ground in the Lake Tahoe area, the Truckee High School boys’ golf team has inconveniently practiced on Reno area courses so far this year; but that did not stop it from earning first in the initial Icebreaker exhibition tournament in Hawthorne, Nev., last week. Truckee shot a team-leading 401.
“This is a great way to start our season, even though our toughest competition was not there,” said Truckee head coach Jeff Froelich.
Ten other schools were present at the event, with Dayton finishing second five strokes behind Truckee, and George Whittell taking third. North Tahoe, Lowry and Rite of Passage were absent, but it was an optimistic start for Truckee.
“We hope to be very competitive this year and even stronger next year as eight juniors become seniors,” Froelich said.
Froelich is not quick to downsize his team’s chances this season, however, adding that seniors “Kevin Waters and Matt Blesse should figure critically into our current season.” Blesse shot a 79 in the Icebreaker.
Waters finished seventh last year in the state championships at Boulder City, Nev., shooting a 71 and 81 over two rounds. Wes Hollabaugh was the other top performer, shooting an 83 and 74 for a ninth place finish. At Hawthorne, Hollabaugh shot a 77 to lead Truckee.
“Both of those guys should lead our team this season,” Froelich said.
As a team, Truckee finished third in state last year and first in the Northern 3A. It opened the 2004 regular season on Thursday at Desert Lakes Golf Course in Fernley.
With a promising year ahead, Truckee’s main problem has been finding a dry, local place to practice.
“We’re having a hard time finding a course that will let us play,” said Froelich, talking on his cell phone on the way to a practice in Reno. But the situation is not all about the weather.
“The local courses seem to take care of the Nevada teams first,” he said. “Plus, it’s not always a money-making situation (for the courses) when you let the juniors play.”
But Froelich will not allow the off-the-field issues to get inside his players’ heads. Despite it, he has built up a strong Truckee boys’ golf program.
“Looking into the future we have a great crop of dedicated freshman and sophomores that we hope to get working out at the local golf courses, and playing a lot this offseason to improve their games,” he said.
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The Barracuda Championship is set to tee off next week, bringing PGA golfers to Tahoe Mountain Club’s Old Greenwood course for the second year in a row.